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Thunder To Play Preseason Games Abroad

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm •  Published: March 5, 2013

What’s been rumored for years is now a reality.

The Oklahoma City Thunder is headed overseas.

The team will play a pair of exhibition games in international cities to kick off its 2013 preseason schedule.

OKC will open its preseason in Istanbul, Turkey against Fenerbahce Ulker on Saturday, Oct. 5. It will be the league’s first preseason game of the 2013 schedule. The Thunder will then travel to Manchester, England to take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

There have been rumblings for the past four seasons of the Thunder traveling overseas to compete in the league’s annual tour of international cities. A popular belief was that the Thunder would be headed for China, where Kevin Durant has journeyed and been well-received multiple times as part of Nike tours. But a trip to Turkey and England offers a few different opportunity.

Turkey, of course, is where Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant helped the U.S. men win gold in the the 2010 FIBA World Championship. Durant used that stage to only build on his reputation as a budding superstar, winning Most Valuable Player honors after a tournament filled with record breaking scoring performances.

Manchester, meanwhile, is just three hours north of where Westbrook and Durant helped the U.S. win gold in last summer’s Olympics in London.

Above all, it’s a win for Oklahoma City, as the Thunder continues to put the city on an international radar like nothing before. Kind of cool, wouldn’t you say?


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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