Thunder Serves Up Acts of Kindness

Serving up cold favorites like Bordeaux Cherry Amaretto and Strawberry Banana, Thunder teammates Steven Adams and Andre Roberson spent Sunday afternoon working the register and the drive-thru at a jam-packed local Braum’s to the glee of customers.

Placing their food orders, delighted fans and neighbors alike were treated by a jarring sight of the towering 7-foot Adams in restaurant garb donning a navy blue apron and sporting a glorious hair-and-beard combo that bursted out of his pink Braum’s cap. Meanwhile, drive-thru customers were pleasantly caught off guard when they encountered Roberson at the window with their comped order ready in hand and a dazzling smile.

The duo’s impromptu afternoon shift during the lunch rush capped a series of surprise visits by the players as part of Thunder Acts of Kindness. The goodwill effort was a big thank-you to the community and a nod for the continued support of Thunder basketball throughout the season.

“There’s something unique about the team and how the guys are committed to the community by getting out there and doing work,” said Keaton Ross, a student at Oklahoma Christian.

In a day swirling with soft-serve treats, send-off selfies, high-fives and big grins, Adams’ penchant to reinforce “pleases” and “thank yous” during playful exchanges with the younger customers added to the fun.

“This was a total surprise. We love how the Thunder supports the community,” said Tara Overholser, an OKC bartender.

-Jimmy Do | okcthunder.com


Thunder Drops in on Fire Station 37

Alex Abrines felt the weight. Simply walking, let alone running, dousing flames and carrying an innocent family member to safety seemed impossible. As the rookie Thunder sharpshooter untangled himself from the firefighter’s uniform at Station 37 in north Oklahoma City, he shook his head in awe at what the noble civil servants put themselves through to protect citizens in the Oklahoma City community.

“It was pretty heavy. I can’t imagine running and doing all the stuff they’re doing in the fire,” Abrines said. “It’s unbelievable.”

In the second event during the Thunder’s Random Acts of Kindness on Sunday afternoon, Abrines, Kyle Singler and Josh Huestis surprised firefighters with a visit to their station and to some late afternoon pizza. They circled up on one side of the truck, checking out the electronic equipment inside that acts as the firetrucks guidance system. In fact, the responders have the ability to find the location of every single fire hydrant in Oklahoma City.

On the other side of the “rig” as the firemen call it, was Singler, who was intently listening to all the details of how fire response happens in real time. The coordination, timing and intensity of a call, and all of the duties that don’t seem obvious were valuable lessons to learn.

“We got to meet people that you rarely get to meet,” said Randy Gonzales, a Major at Station 37. “We got to show them the station, our rigs and explain the duties of a firefighter on a day to day basis. They asked some really good questions about what they do and how they do things. It opened up their eyes a little bit.”

It wasn’t all foreign to the Thunder’s players at Station 37, however. Huestis recalled that one of his friends, a firefighter, works two 48 hour shifts over a 5-day period. That level of mental toughness and sacrifice is impressive.

“It’s kind of overwhelming, all the things that go into being a fireman. It’s something a lot of people take for granted when you see firetrucks. There’s a lot that goes into it. It’s a lot of hard work,” Huestis said. “It takes a special kind of person to do it.”

-Nick Gallo | Basketball Writer | okcthunder.com


Handshakes and Milkshakes

Word started spreading quickly around town like wildfire when a few stunned Arby’s customers in line spotted Enes Kanter taking lunch orders at the counter. Soon enough, business picked up rapidly as fans clamored for roast beef sandwiches, mint chocolate swirl shakes and some face time with the Turkish big man.

Always ready to deliver some levity to counter the cold overcast day, the jocular center ambled around the checkout area and bellowed, “Curly fries for everyone! It’s on us today!” inducing a ripple of laughter and smiles inside the restaurant. For Baylee Keels, OKC resident, Kanter’s effortless ability to leave patrons smiling through every interaction underscored not only the center’s big heart for the fans, but it was also indicative of a special bond between the team and the happy folks who support it.

“It was the craziest thing when I walked in and saw Enes Kanter behind the counter serving food. It was amazing,” said Keels. “It’s so cool for the personal connection and the personal touch that they want to do things for the community. To get to know the people that see them all the time is the best thing.”

Kanter was pleased to see all the familiar excitement of the fans as the line kept growing all the way to the doors during his first day on the job. And he gladly reciprocated the love through photo ops and hand slaps.

“They’re so excited not just for the food, but to see a Thunder player,” said Kanter. “It was a pretty awesome experience.”

-Jimmy Do | okcthunder.com


Watch: 2017 Thunder Acts of Kindness


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