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Chesapeake Arena, local extras get a taste of Hollywood

Roughly 300 extras participated in a daylong session filming for Kevin Durant's upcoming move ‘Thunderstruck'
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: January 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm •  Published: January 24, 2012

The entire Thunder Girls roster is on hand to perform at half-court. The Thunder's mascot, Rumble the Bison, which will be featured prominently in the movie, is at the session, too. The film even used real ushers to make it as realistic as possible.

Durant's teammates, though, are impostors. A five-man crew of athletic young men was hired to run out of the tunnel before Durant. They wore Thunder warm-ups and replica jerseys that gave the impression they were teammates Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, Nick Collison, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

“I didn't know how much work it is,” said Chris Merriewether, who wore Jackson's replica No. 15 jersey.

Merriewether, 23, is originally from Florida but now lives and works in Bartlesville. A former basketball player at Kansas State from 2006-10, Merriewether actually played against Durant in high school and college.

“It's a lot of rushing to wait,” Merriewether said. “I didn't realize how much work went into one scene. It's a lot of work.”

Some showed up solely to gain the experience.

Terri Ingle, 47, of Grove, made the three-hour drive to Oklahoma City on Tuesday morning to bring her two children to the set to be extras. Both are aspiring actors. Ingle's daughter, Sarah, is 16 and wore a blue Durant jersey. Her 13-year-old son, Jake, wore a white Harden jersey. Terri Ingle and daughter Sarah stood side by side one row above Morgan along the rail in the scene in which Durant emerges from the tunnel.

“I had a lot of fun, and I learned a lot,” said Sarah Ingle. “It's neat to see how it's so different in real life that what you see on TV. There's a lot more work than you would think.”

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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