Count Reba McEntire among the Oklahoma celebrities who are Thunder fans.
The Country Music Hall of Famer and Chockie native visited Oklahoma City late last week. Along with husband/manager Narvel Blackstock, she was in town to receive the Annie Oakley Society Award during a luncheon at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
“Narvel and I flew in (Wednesday) night and watched the end of the game: very proud,” she said of the Thunder's Western Conference Finals series-clinching victory over the San Antonio Spurs. “When they beat the Lakers, I was thrilled to pieces. We live partially in L.A. But for Oklahoma to do that, it was huge.
“So (Wednesday) night, we were cheering for them and very excited.”
Although she primarily makes her home in Nashville, Tenn., she still considers Oklahoma home.
“Oklahoma's my home, absolutely,” she said.
“I spent all my years growing up in Oklahoma, working in Oklahoma, going to school in Oklahoma, rodeoing in Oklahoma, so it will always be a part of me.”
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED? NOT ANY MORE
Kelli Dupuy sent out the all-call at 9:54 a.m.
The director of marketing and development for Sunbeam Family Services needed volunteers to help place shirts on the chairs at The Peake before Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals. The Thunder and Sunbeam partner on all sorts of projects, so when the franchise asked for Sunbeam's help, Dupuy sent out an email.
Nineteen minutes later, she sent out another.
“WOW!” she wrote. “That was FAST — we are all booked for both games!”
It's more evidence of just how rampant Thunder Mania has become. People are jumping at the chance to be part of it — even if that means putting T-shirts on seats.
And just so you know, everyone who does has to give up a couple hours of their day and follow eight guidelines that include signing a waiver and agreeing not to release any photos or information about the day through social media outlets.
Who knew it took so many rules to place T-shirts on seats?
PAINT THE TOWN THUNDER
It seems like there isn't a square inch of downtown that hasn't already been Thundered Up, but Downtown OKC Inc. found a bit.
The skywalk over Robinson Avenue and Park Avenue connecting Corporate Tower and First National Center needed some Thunder spirit. So, Downtown OKC Inc. asked for volunteers via Twitter on Saturday morning and got right to work.
By early afternoon, the windows of the skywalk had been painted with the words “THUNDER” and “GO OKC”.
Downtown OKC Inc. is helping to Thunder Up other parts of Oklahoma City, too. Gentry McKeown, their Communications Coordinator, said that they'll be stringing blue and orange lights throughout the Myriad Gardens and pretty much wherever else they can. The lights are on loan from Chesapeake Energy — used for its annual Christmas display — and the Downtown OKC team thought they could be put to good use during the NBA Finals.
Is there any new Thunder spirit popping up in your neighborhood? Send us your pictures (firstname.lastname@example.org). We'd love to see!Thunder up, and together? Is the Thunder pulling this city and state together like never before? Thunder chairman Clay Bennett said that after Oklahoma City won the NBA Western Conference title Wednesday.
THUNDER UP, AND TOGETHER?
If you're experiencing that too, share your thoughts, photos and videos that demonstrate it.
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Mail: Oklahoman Sports Desk, 9000 N. Broadway Ext., Oklahoma City, OK 73114-3708