Oklahoma Sports Milestones recognizes people with state ties who make game days special no matter what they do:
*NAMED: By Time Magazine as a “Nerd of the NBA”, Thunder star Kevin Durant. Writer Sean Gregory applauded Durant's geek-chic wardrobe (backpack, horn-rimmed glasses, plaid shirt buttoned to the collar) as being a trendsetter. Teammate Russell Westbrook has picked up the look as well as LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Amar'e Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade and Andre Iguodala. Nike is scheduled to produce various Durant-inspired backpacks this fall. Gregory wrote in Time's May 14 issue: “In Durant, the NBA has an ideal frontman for the geek-chic craze.” Go to www.time.com and search for Kevin Durant to read the entire story.
*THREE: First-team All-Americans played on Northeastern A&M Junior College's national championship football team in 1967. Quarterback Doug Mathews, linebacker Ronnie Lowe and defensive back John Pell and all of their teammates will be inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame on June 2 in Miami. That '67 squad finished 9-1-0 under first-year coach Chuck Bowman. Another notable inductee will be Monty Franks, who has contributed to NEO athletics in some capacity for more than 40 years. Franks has kept media updated on Golden Norse doings, which often get buried in the sports pages despite a tradition of turning out big-time Division I athletes.
*DIED: At age 81, former pro baseball player Ross Jones. The Oklahoma City native and Capitol Hill High School graduate played baseball for U.S. Navy teams during World War II, including the Purcell Gunners and Quonset Flyers. After the war, Jones signed with the Cincinnati Reds organization and played 240 games in the minors over the 1946-48 seasons. The summer of 1947 was Jones' best, when he played for the Providence Chiefs of the New England League. Jones batted .278 and scored a team-best 132 runs. He retired after the '48 season and soon started a 40-year career with Wilson Foods — which included managing the company's baseball team.