by Jimmy Do | okcthunder.com
A Thunder Fit Salute With Hoops and Push-Ups
The court rippled like an ocean when 40 members of the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard dropped to the floor for push-ups. Amongst them was Thunder swingman Corey Brewer. Just like everyone planked down on the court, he pumped out 10 reps with the austerity of cylinders firing.
Last week at the Hive in Edmond, Brewer along with teammates Kyle Singler and PJ Dozier joined the soldiers during a Thunder Fit Clinic, presented by Homeland.
High fives and fist bumps were contagious when the players took part in shooting and ball-handling drills, encouraging one another and feeding off the excitement of the day.
For Airman 1st Class Joshua Smith, seeing the Thunder trio provided the extra motivation when he exploded off the blocks toward a stationary, toothy-grinned Brewer who held the ball out during a dribbling drill.
Racing around the cones, Smith went to the cup for a layup ending with an emphatic atta-boy high-five from Brewer. Whoops and hollers all around.
At another station, Singler whipped bounce passes for backdoor cuts while dishing out pointers as each participant retreated back to the line.
Smith: “For them to come out and spend time with us, it’s a great opportunity and great appreciation.”
Echoing those sentiments, Brewer understood how special this day was for many of the men and women sweating through the drills who have never worked with an NBA player before. So between the pep talks and banter, Brewer took advantage during brief downtimes to get to know some of the soldiers.
“It’s really cool for me because of what the people of the army do for us to protect our country. It’s amazing,” said Brewer. “For me to be out here with them, I’m honored.”
And Dozier followed suit at the nutrition station, volleying meal ideas while sharing his eating and fitness regimen to the attentive eyes before him.
“Those men and women understand how much it means to us that we can come out here and enjoy what we love to do and what they do,” said Dozier. “We can relate to each other.”
Brewer, Dozier and Singler capped an action-packed, fun-filled afternoon with a Q&A session. While they fielded questions about their respective basketball journeys, the trio delivered a message centered on perseverance and self-improvement.
“It’s nice to see they’re just regular guys living their lives and doing a job. It’s nice to get out and interact with them,” said Sgt. 1st Class Larry Isbell. “I think it really helps us to embrace them and think of them as part of our Oklahoma City family.”
Brewer's Crew. The rangy swingman conducted a drill where participants raced around cones to complete a layup. Photo by Jimmy Do | OKC Thunder
Skip passes from Singler. Sgt. 1st Class Larry Isbell: "We did some practice drills with them, went over some fundamental basketball stuff and covered some nutrition. It’s solid, fun entertainment." Photo by Jimmy Do | OKC Thunder
Nutrition mixed with action. Participants competed in a relay race where identifying food groups is the key to victory. Photo by Jimmy Do | OKC Thunder
Q&A session. The Thunder trio tackled questions on how they prepared for the NBA and what motivates them to reach their goals. Photo by Jimmy Do | OKC Thunder
Watch: Thunder Salutes Military With Fit Clinic