Thunder Honors First Responders, Celebrates Upcoming Season

by Jimmy Do |

Once the blast from the fire hoses violently upended the traffic cones outside, Terrance Ferguson with Dakari Johnson on his heels tore back inside through the fire station with the hustle of going after a loose ball.

Decked out in full bunker gear, the Thunder teammates were jockeying for position where the lone portable basketball goal was located on the other end of Fire Station 5. Soon enough, the scrambling firefighters of Team Ferguson and Team Johnson made their way down from the roof to be the first ones to dish the inbound pass to their respective namesakes.

To celebrate the upcoming 10th season of Thunder basketball, Ferguson and Johnson suited up and took part in an obstacle challenge with firefighters of Fire Station 5 on Tuesday in a fun-filled afternoon complete with a “Pop-A-Shot” inflatable, Snow S’more food truck and pizza courtesy of Papa John’s for their families.

“They were able to put on the gear and do some things they’ve never done before,” said Benny Fulkerson, OKCFD public information officer. “It was an incredible experience for all of us today.”

Thanks to his unyielding rim protection followed by a one-handed jam, Johnson notched the victory and tickets to Thursday’s opening night matchup at Chesapeake Energy Arena for Cpls. Ben Schwarz and Cody Burke.

“It’s great to have the Thunder out here supporting the community and we’re able to support them as well,” said Schwarz. “It’s good to have everyone together.”

Suit up. Johnson and Ferguson learn the ropes at OKC Fire Station 5. Teammates honor first responders and celebrates the start of Thunder season. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder

World's Largest Thunder Flag. A staff of 20 poses for a group photo under rescue ladders that can reach up to 85 feet high. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder

Learning the ropes. After taking a tour of the facilities, the Thunder duo gets ready to ride in a fire truck. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder

Sign me up. Ferguson: "It's pretty cool. It's a good experience to see what they go through. They put their life in danger everyday and we appreciate them." Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder

Teamwork. OKCFD Battalion Chief Operations Larry Hansen: "Just like basketball, firefighting is a team sport. We're only as good as each other." Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder

A Show of Thanks. Johnson congratulates Cpl. Ben Schwarz for winning tickets to Thursday's opening night game. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder


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