by Jimmy Do | okcthunder.com
After successfully ambling around the cones and cutting baseline, the kids were rewarded with a Nick Collison back-door pass to complete the layup drill.
A steady stream of youngsters with brows furrowed in concentration dribbled their way toward Raymond Felton for congratulatory high-five slaps and there-you-gos near the sideline at midcourt.
Thanks to a partnership between the Thunder Cares Foundation, Devon Energy and the City of Calumet, residents gathered together to celebrate the new outdoor hoops court in their neighborhood park on Tuesday afternoon.
In game night fashion, Thunder Drummers welcomed the Calumet community by filling the atmosphere with their signature bombastic routine to kickstart the celebration.
“When we could find good projects to help and benefit communities for many years, that’s what we look for,” said Todd Moehlenbrock, Devon Energy vice president, Anadarko Basin Business Unit. “The kids and the families can enjoy this for years to come.”
Selfie ops and high-fives all around, the festivities featured Rumble the Bison, Thunder Girls and Storm Chasers to ratchet up the excitement of the crowd on hand.
Counting Tuesday’s ceremonious unveiling, 18 Thunder-themed basketball courts have been built or refurbished in Oklahoma.
As a labor of love, the court makeover initiative served as a way to not only promote health and fitness, but also the love of the game throughout Oklahoma communities.
“This is exactly what we love to do when we’re building basketball courts,” said Thunder vice president of Community Relations. “It’s open to everybody. We want people to have fun, get outside, be active and play some basketball.”
Court Number 18. Following the unveiling of the new outdoor basketball court, Nick Collison and Raymond Felton join the Calumet youth for a hoops clinic. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder
Mr. Thunder. Whipping bounce pass after bounce pass, Collison worked with the kids on cutting to the hoop for layups. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder
Sending a message. Felton on his first court dedication: “I think kids need more time outside than inside with video games, computers and cellphones now. This will help kids get back outside.” Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder
Rip-roaring fun. Never on short supply for laughs and fun, Rumble the Bison mingles with the crowd. Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder
Oklahoma’s team. Collison: ““I’m from a small town like this. It’s important for us to not only give back to people who live in Oklahoma City, but the rest of the state as well.” Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder
Lasting impact. Devon Community Relations Specialist Tangi Smith: “We’re always looking for ways to improve the quality of life in the communities where our employees live and work.” Photo by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder