A LEGACY REALIZED: 20 COURTS IN 10 SEASONS
by Jimmy Do | okcthunder.com
Since splashing the first coat of paint on the Police Athletic League’s court 10 years ago to rallying hearts and minds in the wake of the devastation of the 2013 Moore tornadoes, the Thunder built a legacy of bringing Oklahoma communities together.
Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the 20th court the Thunder built from scratch or renovated to celebrate 10 seasons of Thunder basketball.
Fueled by anticipation and drumroll, the fervent crowd launched a countdown chant of “3-2-1” matching the excitement of New Year’s Eve.
Whoops and cheers erupted once the oversized scissors swiftly clipped the ceremonial blue ribbon into a milestone. For residents, it was the moment they have been waiting for since the makeover started in early March of this year.
Complete with team colors and shield logo, the Thunder unveiled a new outdoor court to the delight of community members at Don Haskins Park in Enid.
On top of that, Mayor Bill Shewey officially declared June 5, 2018 “Oklahoma City Thunder and Thunder Cares Foundation Day” as a nod to the organization’s tireless efforts to provide a safe and inspiring place to play for children.
“It’s a great day for Enid, Oklahoma,” said Shewey. “The Thunder organization demonstrates its commitment as a community partner to improve the quality of life and strengthen communities across Oklahoma.”
The festivities saw Rumble the Bison ricocheting the perimeter for high-fives and laughs after a hotly contested game of word scramble on the newly-minted court. As crowd pleasers, the Thunder Girls kept the momentum of the crowd alive in a dazzling display of athleticism, attitude and grace during their dance routine.
“The communities we worked with to bring the Thunder Cares basketball courts have all been overwhelmingly thrilled,” said Thunder Vice President of Community Relations Christine Berney. “It creates a sense of renewed community pride around the court. It’s a magnet for the community.”
To look back at all 20 court unveilings, click here.
Milestone reached. On Tuesday afternoon, the Oklahoma City Thunder, through a partnership with the Thunder Cares Foundation, dedicated a new outdoor basketball court at Don Haskins Park in Enid. The dedication marked the 20th court built or refurbished by the Thunder Cares Foundation since 2009. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder
Love of the game. Following the ribbon-cutting, Thunder Youth Basketball coaches held a clinic on the new court with children from the local elementary school. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder
Crowd pleasers. The ceremony included the Thunder Girls to hype up the crowd. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder
Word scramble. Kids in the Enid community played a competitive game of word scramble based on STEM terms. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder
Photo op. Rumble the Bison takes a group shot with the Enid High School cheer team. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder