Blue Alliance Spotlight - Shirley Graham

How did you get started as a Blue Alliance Captain?

I got started watching the Thunder as soon as they started. I watched them on television every time they were on. I had never been a big NBA fan, but I was so impressed with this young team, I got hooked. My husband and I always go somewhere warm for our wedding anniversary in January, but a year ago last January, I told him I wanted to spend the money and go to see the Thunder play in real time. We had a great time at the game, but also enjoyed downtown Oklahoma City. It was a great weekend. Since that time, we have gone to around 30-40 games.

What got you hooked on the Thunder?

I am in sales, so I was always talking about the Thunder. When the Blue Alliance started, I had so many of my friends, family and even customers telling me I should apply to be a captain. I didn't figure they would pick me, but I was already hosting unofficial Thunder parties and had started a Facebook page for Thunder fans in Tulsa. The day I received the email saying I had been selected as the Tulsa captain, I was out of town on business and celebrated with total strangers.

How many members do you have in your Blue Alliance Chapter?

I have close to 500 members currently, and I hope to raise that number by at least 200 more before the season is finished.

What’s been your favorite moment as a Blue Alliance Captain?

I think the best part of this for me has been meeting even more new people. The watch parties I had during the Playoffs, when I was not at the games, were so much fun. We had an average of 100 to 150 people at each party. I had two local televisions stations there one night, and then I had businesses all of sudden calling me wanting to host parties and wanting to help out. It was great. I had Blue Alliance fliers printed up and handed them out at all the watch parties. They basically explained what the group was and how to join.

What’s your top goal for your chapter this season?

I have organized two bus trips and brought 50 people from Tulsa on each trip to a Thunder home game. Most have never been to a game, so I just explain that once you have been a part of the "Thunder experience," you are hooked. I look forward to another fun year and finding even new members for the Blue Alliance. Last year I had several people never heard of the Blue Alliance, but I think the fact that the Thunder mentions it on television and at the games has helped to get the word out.

How many pieces of Thunder gear do you own?

I am embarrassed, but three jerseys, one long-sleeve shirt, about 10-12 T-shirts, two baseball caps and one very nice leather jacket. I have a pool table room in my home and I have a Thunder light over the pool table, a Thunder pool-cue holder and a Thunder wall with several items, including some player autographs. I also have a case with two autographed hats and, of course, all the great stuff we got in our Blue Alliance Captain's package.

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