Stars come out for Thunder opener

BY BERRY TRAMEL Modified: October 30, 2008 at 7:57 am •  Published: October 29, 2008
Barry Switzer sat down in first class on a flight to Los Angeles in September, and the woman across the aisle was adorned in Oklahoma City Thunder apparel.

“Mama, you bought all the store,” Switzer told her.

She had a good reason. Her son plays for the Thunder.

Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, was Switzer’s flightmate, which explains how the Oklahoma football coaching legend came to sit courtside Wednesday night with the mother of OKC’s newest superstar.

Pratt told Switzer she didn’t know a soul in Oklahoma City and asked if he would go to a game with her. He gave Pratt his card, and she called over the weekend, asking if Switzer wanted to attend the opener.

“I think it’s great,” Switzer said of the NBA in Oklahoma City. “I hope we appreciate what (Thunder chairman) Clay Bennett did for us. Anyone that comes outside the state can see what sports means to the state of Oklahoma.”

On the historic night at the Ford Center, other celebrities included:

* PGA Tour golfer Scott Verplank, who lives in Edmond. “I think it’s pretty cool,” Verplank said. “When I was in college and high school (in Dallas), the Mavericks started in Dallas. It reminds me a lot of that. Lots of people here, it’s loud. Give ’em a couple of years, and they’re gonna be good.”

* Former NFL and OU halfback Joe Washington, now an administrator in the Sooner athletic department: “Back in my day, you would never have imagined anything like this would be in the stars.

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