Children were jumping up and down inside the large bounce houses. A collection of classic muscle cars lined the walkway. Rumble the Bison ricocheting from one high-five to another.
The residents of Sand Springs gathered at the newly christened Case Community Park where the Thunder organization unveiled a new outdoor basketball court on Saturday morning.
The partnership between the Thunder Cares Foundation, U.S. Cellular and the City of Sand Springs came to fruition when Green Country’s second Thunder court became official once the ribbon snapped and flipped into the breeze amid cheers from the crowd.
Overall, the Thunder has built or renovated 17 courts in the state.
The day featured meet-and-greets with the Thunder Girls and a performance from the Thunder Drummers as part of the excitement during the city’s RiverFest event.
“We are thrilled to be part of bringing a new basketball court to this community and adding to the experience for kids in Sand Springs,” said Christine Berney, vice president of Community Relations for the Thunder. “We hope that every time the kids here pick up a basketball and step onto the court, they’ll know that the Thunder cares about them, that we want them to make healthy choices and have a place to have fun.”
On many levels, the newly minted court underscored the Thunder organization’s commitment to spreading the love of the game to all Oklahomans.
“It’s important for us to spread the love outside of Oklahoma City. Our courts are all across the state of Oklahoma,” said Berney. “That has been our focus from Day One with these basketball courts. It’s the perfect way for an NBA team to share how much we love the game of basketball.”
Making connections and enhancing lives in the community were key objectives in undertaking this special makeover project for the area.
“It’s an investment into the community,” said Jeff Heeley, director of sales, corporate-owned channel for U.S. Cellular in Oklahoma. “We want to provide a place for kids to come and take advantage of the beautiful park, have fun, stay active and be proud to play on the court.”
For Sand Springs resident Jason Ward, the court breathed new life into his neighborhood park.
“There was nothing like this. It’s going to be great for the kids to be able to come out here and have a good time with friends and family,” said Ward. “The kids are going to have lights and be able to play at night. So it’ll be used a lot.”