Clipping the Ribbon for 19th Thunder Cares Court

by Jimmy Do | okcthunder.com

For years, the outdoor court at Fraley Park served as the go-to spot for Ardmore resident Larry Wright to spend time with his grandchildren. His grandson is a Russell Westbrook devotee while Steven Adams’ rim-jarring exploits won Wright’s favorite player status.

While neighborhood hoopers relied on the park for play and practice, their beloved concrete haven has seen better days. Successful jumpers were not rewarded with the satisfying experience of an affirming swish because the rusty rims did not have nets.

Monday afternoon changed all of that once the snipped ceremonial blue ribbon flew into the breeze to celebrate the month-long transformation made possible through a partnership between the Thunder Cares Foundation and Enable Midstream Partners.

There were no shortages of photo ops, high-fives and good vibes as the Thunder Girls, Storm Chasers and Thunder Drummers charged up a jubilant crowd excited about their new shiny new Thunder blue basketball court.

“It’s awesome. It gives the kids a better place to come to,” said Wright. “The Thunder is a big influence on the kids here.”

The festivities came with a post-ceremony hoops clinic where high schoolers got their first taste of the new court performing a gamut of drills, courtesy of the Thunder organization’s youth basketball program.

The organization has now clipped 19 ribbons to celebrate a brand new or renovated court fashioned with that eye-catching Thunder touch—on pace for the organization’s 20-court mark to commemorate 10 years of Thunder basketball.

“Our goal is to do courts across the state of Oklahoma. Ardmore was a place we wanted to get to and it worked out because our partner at Enable Midstream has a presence here,” said Christine Berney, vice president of community relations for the Thunder. “It’s a perfect match.”

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