Jackie Raper has an arm that's still giving her trouble after the Moore tornado dropped a roof on her.
But basketball season is just around the corner, so she is motivated to get better.
“She wants to get to the point where she can clap,” said her husband, Dub, a high school coaching legend.
Jackie has a bunch of high school teams to cheer — nearly 50 of Dub's former players are now coaching — but she also want to support her Thunder.
And now, there may be one player who gets her biggest cheer.
Thabo Sefolosha decided to donate the registration fees from a recent basketball camp to a couple families who were impacted by the May storms. When the Thunder guard took the idea to Lenny Hatchett, the boys basketball coach at Edmond Santa Fe High where the camp was held, Hatchett immediately knew he wanted to include the Rapers.
He is one of Dub's former players, and that means the Rapers became a second family to him. They have done so much for him that he wanted to do this for them.
“You know how it goes,” Hatchett said. “Big tragedy like that, people kind of move on.”
But the Rapers are a reminder that the recovery is ongoing.
Jackie was home the day of the storm, but when she and daughter Misty loaded the car and started to leave, a neighbor told them it was too late. The tornado was coming. They didn't have time to flee.
They took shelter in the neighbor's bathroom, and when the tornado barreled through the Westmoor neighborhood, the roof collapsed on top of them. When it did, something heavy slammed down on Jackie's shoulder.
By the time Dub made his way through the debris-strewn streets and got to the house — most of the retired coach's keepsakes from four decades in Oklahoma high school basketball were lost — Jackie had already been dug out and taken to Integris Southwest Medical Center.
She stayed there a week.
She had cracked ribs and a broken arm and tons of bruises. She needed dozens of staples to close up the gashes on her left arm. Once the swelling in it went down, surgeons had to replace her shoulder and her elbow.
(Doctors also determined that she needed a pacemaker to remedy an irregular heartbeat.)
The months since have been tough.
Jackie still needs physical therapy on her left arm. She goes three times a week, a fact that exasperates her when she talks about it, but after all these weeks, she still doesn't have full use of her arm.
If it doesn't improve in the coming weeks, her doctors say they might have to operate on her elbow again.
In the meantime, Dub and Jackie are working on finding a house.
They lived in a hotel for several weeks after the storm; a longtime basketball friend graciously footed the entire bill. They were at the hotel when deadly storms churned through the Oklahoma City area on May 31, and even though Jackie couldn't use either of her arms, she was scared enough to somehow get herself and every pillow in the room into the bathtub.
It took two people the better part of a half-hour to get her out.
Dub and Jackie eventually found a house to rent, and now, they are in the process of buying a new house in one of the neighborhoods west of Southmoore High School.
Jackie thinks she now might have something to help decorate it.
“How would this look in my living room?” she said holding the giant ceremonial check that Sefolosha presented the Rapers.
“I bet she'll try it,” Dub said, laughing.
Sefolosha gave the Rapers and another Moore family $2,500 each in addition to a $1,500 donation made to the Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity.
When Hatchett invited Dub and Jackie to the camp, they thought he just wanted to introduce them to Sefolosha. But when they learned they were receiving a donation, Dub beamed and Jackie put her hand over her mouth.
“I'm speechless,” she whispered.
She finally managed a few words.
“God has blessed us so much,” she said, then looked at Sefolosha. “I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is just marvelous.”
Jackie admits she's always had a place in her heart for Serge Ibaka, but now the Thunder shot blocker might have competition from Sefolosha.
“He's gettin' in there,” Jackie said with a smile. “He's moved up the ladder quite a bit.”
But the truth is, she can't wait to cheer for everyone who plays for her Thunder. When the tornado hit, she told Dub, “All my Thunder shirts, they blew away,” and she knows that the season is quickly approaching.
“But I will be ready,” she said.
Ready with her Thunder gear. Ready with her rehabbed arm. Ready to cheer like she always has during basketball season.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.