Jenni Carlson
Columnist

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football games. Her mom kept the scorebook during baseball games and yelled her head off no matter the sport. They passed along that passion to Carlson and her two younger brothers.



Carlson played golf in high school and planned to play in college, but when she started at the University of Kansas, she decided to focus her attention on journalism. It’s a decision that she’s never regretted.



Her first big story was a profile on Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams for the yearbook, and Carlson has enjoyed interviewing sports figures and sharing their stories every since.
Carlson is a 1997 graduate of Kansas. She and her husband, Ryan, were married in 2009 and live in Oklahoma City. They welcomed their first child, Millie, in June 2012. Carlson was the president of the Association for Women in Sports Media from 2008-10 and chair of the board from 2010-12.




  • Jenni Carlson Chat: Talking OSU's chances at 10 wins, Joe Mixon, Frank Shannon and Steven Adams

    staff reports | Updated: Wed, Aug 13, 2014

    Jenni Carlson answered your questions on the Power Lunch chat on topics ranging from OSU's exclusion from basketball Big Monday to the difference between Frank Shannon and Dorial Green-Beckham. Here's the full transcript.

  • Mick Cornett brought the big-time to Oklahoma City

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Jul 30, 2014

    It was March 2008, and the NBA had dispatched a small army of decision-makers to Oklahoma City, a place long seen as a minor-league town. The question they sought to answer: was the city ready to have a big-league team of its own?

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Updated: Thu, Jul 10, 2014

    Jenni Carlson is on the course at Oak Tree National for the U.S. Senior Open, but she's also talking Thunder free agency, LeBron James and more on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m. Get your questions in now.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Updated: Wed, Jul 2, 2014

    What do you think of the Sooners' new uniforms? Who should the Thunder be targeting in free agency? Ask Jenni Carlson on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m.

  • Thunder is giving you a glimpse at the big picture

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Jun 27, 2014

    It’s a pretty big deal when the Thunder allows a peek over the wall and a glimpse at what’s going on behind the scenes. That’s exactly what happened on draft night.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: With unexpected choices, Sam Presti's up to his old draft night tricks again

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Thu, Jun 26, 2014

    How many times have we seen this? How many times have we realized he was right? The Thunder general manager selected Michigan power forward Mitch McGary with the 21st pick, then took Stanford small forward Josh Huestis with the 29th pick.

  • Jenni Carlson chat: Talking NBA Draft, Thunder trades and Devon Thomas

    staff reports | Updated: Mon, Jun 23, 2014

    Jenni Carlson was on the Power Lunch chat today talking Thunder free agency targets, a theory on Devon Thomas' future and who Sam Presti would draft. Here's the full transcript:

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Updated: Tue, Jun 17, 2014

    Join columnist Jenni Carlson at 11 a.m. to discuss the NBA offseason, Thunder changes, the World Cup, Big 12 football and more on the Power Lunch chat. Get your questions in now.

  • NBA Playoffs: Spurs' greatness was born well before the playoffs — and Thunder could learn from that approach

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Jun 16, 2014

    Success came in April, May and June because of what the Spurs did in November, December and January. The Spurs didn’t lose to a non-playoff team until Jan. 2, and they didn’t lose to another one again until Feb. 10. By that point, the Thunder had already lost to four non-playoff teams on its way to nine regular-season losses against teams that didn’t make the postseason.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Knicks' Derek Fisher hiring means the Kevin Durant free agency rumor mill is kicking into high gear

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Jun 13, 2014

    Brace yourselves, Thunder fans. This is only the beginning. For the next two years, any major move by any franchise that might be a player in 2016 free agency is likely to come with a Kevin Durant subtext.

  • Jenni Carlson chat: Talking Derek Fisher, Thunder offseason and more

    staff reports | Updated: Tue, Jun 10, 2014

    Jenni Carlson was on the Power Lunch chat on Tuesday, talking Derek Fisher to the Knicks, potential Thunder offseason additions and the NBA Finals. Here's the full transcript.

  • Thunder loses more than a third-string point guard in Derek Fisher

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Jun 9, 2014

    Fisher, after all, was way more than the third-string point guard during his nearly three seasons in Oklahoma City. He became a steadying force for the Thunder, a player who had the respect of every guy in the locker room, a veteran who knew what it took to win a title and shared that knowledge in a way that didn’t offend anyone.

  • For Oklahomans, here's a reason why the Spurs' triumph isn't so bad

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Jun 3, 2014

    COMMENTARY -- While the Thunder's loss to the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals has been a heartache for most Oklahomans, it's been a godsend for Conner Davey of Washington as he battles cancer.

  • No time to panic — but the clock is ticking on the Thunder

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, Jun 1, 2014

    Maybe Russell Westbrook can work on dunking even harder next season in an attempt to break the space-time continuum. Otherwise, nothing will stop the tick tock. Kevin Durant and Westbrook’s careers are a year shorter than they were a year ago today. Even if they spend their entire careers in Oklahoma City, their time in a Thunder uniform is another year down the road.

  • Thunder-Spurs: When it was needed most, OKC's defense faltered

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Sun, Jun 1, 2014

    COMMENTARY — The Spurs’ dominating third quarter and near-flawless overtime came without San Antonio’s best player — Tony Parker — and against an Oklahoma City squad that couldn’t summon enough defense.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC's season ends in Game 6 overtime thriller

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sat, May 31, 2014

    After the Thunder and the Spurs traded blowouts in the first five games of the Western Conference Finals, they locked in not just a close game but also an overtime thriller Saturday night at The Peake. It just didn’t end the way the home crowd wanted.

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Spurs, Game 6

    staff reports | Updated: Sat, May 31, 2014

    Can the Thunder avoid elimination tonight against the Spurs in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals? Follow our live coverage with Darnell Mayberry, Jenni Carlson, Anthony Slater and more from pregame to postgame.

  • Thunder-Spurs series is as unexplainable as it gets

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Fri, May 30, 2014

    How do you explain what is happening in this series? These were the two best teams in the entire NBA during the regular season, two heavyweights, and every time they’ve played in the past week or so, one of them has struggled to stay within two touchdowns of the other.

  • Thunder-Spurs: Reggie Jackson's new life as a starter hits the skids

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Fri, May 30, 2014

    COMMENTARY — The Spurs shut out Reggie Jackson for the final 25 minutes in Game 5, and the bench he left wasn’t much better in another Oklahoma City blowout loss in San Antonio.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Spurs win at home to take 3-2 series lead

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Thu, May 29, 2014

    Five games into these Western Conference Finals, the home team has not only won every game but also won every time on home hardwood convincingly. Two Spurs blowouts in San Antonio to start the series were followed by two decisive Thunder victories in Oklahoma City.




Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 09:00:34 PM CST What would Gabe say #wwgs RT @jasonkersey: I've gotta admit, I'm gonna miss @GabeIkard's reliably gold postgame quotations tonight. #Sooners
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 08:11:04 PM CST If you were slow back to the TV after half, you missed a Sooner TD drive. Capped by an 8-yard Ross run.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:44:24 PM CST 36-yard FG by La Tech puts the Bulldogs on the board with 4 seconds left on the clock before half.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:34:29 PM CST Sooner offense continues to roll. 72 yard drive capped by a 1-yard TD run by Ross
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:24:49 PM CST @ESPNCommentary I'm thrifty, so I'm going used if given the chance.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:21:45 PM CST Nice pass breakup by Bird. Textbook.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:18:04 PM CST @EvanEpstein60 Fair enough.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:17:55 PM CST @ledzep1171 Oh, man, that's a new one. Never, ever heard that before!
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:17:33 PM CST @EvanEpstein60 Is it helping? Working? Just making you feel better?
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:17:05 PM CST RT @jasonkersey: Shots fired! RT @Just_JD38: Very Landry-ish
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:13:33 PM CST @ledzep1171 What is this, third grade? Is my response, "No, YOU shut it"?
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:10:23 PM CST @andrew_kalman Bell has been extremely durable. Way more likely to give him a go than burn Hansen's RS on LA TECH.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:08:45 PM CST @andrew_kalman Thomas looks hurt. Never threw in warmups. Not going to take redshirt off Hansen. Which leaves? Bell.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 07:02:57 PM CST Four offensive possessions, four scores for the Sooners. This time, a 39-yard FG by Hunnicutt.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 06:59:40 PM CST Now, THAT was a slide by Knight. First time was a little more, um, clunky.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 06:59:07 PM CST Sanchez having a game. First a FG block. Now an interception.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 06:56:21 PM CST OU offense with great balance. 69 rush yards, 76 pass yards.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 06:55:51 PM CST End of the first quarter, OU dominating 21-0.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 06:53:53 PM CST RT @john_shinn: OU's averaging 7.2 yards per play while giving up 2.2.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 30 2014 06:51:27 PM CST Keith Ford with a 5-yard TD run. Showed some strength powering through the middle.