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Eleno Ornelas says Thunder's Kevin Durant similar to Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki

By Mel Bracht Modified: January 23, 2009 at 12:46 am •  Published: January 23, 2009
Eleno Ornelas, the Spanish voice of the Oklahoma City Thunder, has broadcast Texas Rangers games for nine seasons and covered the Dallas Mavericks for 5 seasons.

He has broadcast all the Thunder home games on KINB-FM 105.3. Since the demise of Jox 930, the games also have started airing on WKY-AM 930.

Ornelas, a Dallas resident who grew up in El Paso, Texas, compares the rapid development of Thunder forward Kevin Durant to that of Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki.

"Durant is on the same pace as Nowitzki was when I was with the Mavericks,” he said.

While Hispanics are known as rabid soccer fans, Ornelas said they also are interested in baseball and basketball.

"People get confused. They think in Mexico, all they know is soccer, but they’re wrong. Soccer is mostly played in southern Mexico, but from central Mexico to the north, it’s baseball and basketball.”

Although he hasn’t interviewed Thunder players on the air, Ornelas said a few players know Spanish. Guard Earl Watson, whose mother is Mexican, speaks fluent Spanish.