Thunder Fellows Program Names Cedric Ikpo Executive Director
OKLAHOMA CITY, May 5, 2021 – Cedric Ikpo has been named the Executive Director of the Thunder Fellows Program, a partnership between the Oklahoma City Thunder and CAA Sports designed to unlock new opportunities in sports, technology, and entertainment for Black high school and college students in the Tulsa area. In this new role, Ikpo will be responsible for overseeing the continued development of Thunder Fellows, as the program is set to launch later in 2021.
“It is an incredible honor to take on this role with Thunder Fellows, and I believe that with an intentional, thoughtful and committed approach we can help create tangible and transformative outcomes for Black youth in Tulsa,” said Ikpo. “This effort will take time to develop, and I look forward to working with community stakeholders to achieve our goals. I want to thank the Thunder and CAA for entrusting me with this opportunity, and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Ikpo brings more than a decade of experience working in corporate social responsibility in professional sports. He comes to the Thunder Fellows Program from the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he worked on numerous corporate social responsibility initiatives, collaborating across NBA, WNBA and G League team markets.
“We’ve taken an important step in the process of building the Thunder Fellows Program with the hiring of Cedric, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for him to get started,” said Sam Presti, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager. “Cedric’s background and experience will help the program execute on our goal of creating a pipeline of opportunities for local Tulsa Black youth. His commitment to the vision of the Thunder Fellows Program, coupled with his deep understanding of how to help close the opportunity gap will help us accomplish our goal of long-term tangible results over the course of time.”
Ikpo played a role in the development of the NBA Foundation, which works in partnership with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), to create economic opportunities, job development and career advancement in Black communities across NBA markets. He has served as a lead on the NBA Team Foundation Advisory Council, as well as on the NBA Team Social Justice Task Force.
“We are excited to launch the Thunder Fellows program with Cedric at the helm,” said Mike Johnson of CAA Sports. “His work ethic, drive, and proven track record of creating real impact, combined with his own life experiences, provide a solid foundation for his leadership, as we set forth on our mission to unlock lucrative career opportunities for Black students in Tulsa.”
Ikpo has also spent time with the San Antonio Spurs in their corporate responsibility department and began his career with the Houston Rockets. He is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and a minor in marketing.
The Thunder Fellows Program is located at 123 Martin Luther King Blvd. in the Historic Greenwood District of Tulsa, Okla.