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.



Top Stories


  • NBA Playoffs LIVE: Thunder vs. Grizzlies

    staff reports | Updated: 7 hr ago

    The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies tip off in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series tonight at 8:30 p.m. Follow our coverage from pregame to postgame with the NewsOK staff and more

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Kiss Cam couple's place in Thunder fans' hearts is sealed with a kiss

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Apr 19, 2014

    As the NBA Playoffs begin, Oklahoma City Thunder fans are hoping to spend many nights together over the coming weeks at The Peake. Thunder fans Dale and Lois Higginns are part of the charm.

  • NBA Playoffs: How Serge Ibaka spent his offseason getting ready for the Grizzlies' Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Marc Gasol definitely got the better of that matchup during the playoffs last season. While he and Randolph switched off defensively on Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins, the Memphis bigs often helped each other and doubled up when Ibaka had the ball.

  • NBA Playoffs: Serge Ibaka could be one of the Spain national team's big men of the future

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    After the Olympic Games, Serge Ibaka expressed frustration about his role on the team. But if he wants more playing time, that might well take care of itself by the next Olympics. Pau Gasol is 33 and has battled injury in recent years. Many believe he will retire before the 2016 Games.

  • NBA Playoffs: Postseason features diverse group of athletes

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    A look at the international players in the playoffs.

  • Thunder vs. Grizzlies: Memphis coach Dave Joerger thinks Loud City is too loud

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Yesterday

    Dave Joerger turned toward the scorer’s table and asked nicely for the music to be turned down. The next time he asked wasn’t so nice. The first time Memphis came to town to play the Thunder this season, the first-year head coach thought the in-arena music was too loud and he let game operations staffers know it. There was a bit of begging. There was a smidgen of colorful verbiage. The man from the House of Blues thinks the music in Loud City is too loud. Oh, the irony. But when the Grizzlies returned to town for another regular season game, Joerger didn’t backtrack on his belief that they need to take it down a notch or six.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Published: Fri, Apr 18, 2014

    Join Jenni Carlson on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m., where she'll be taking your questions on the Thunder vs. Grizzlies and more.

  • OKC Thunder: Oklahoma writers discuss upcoming NBA playoffs

    Published: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    Four questions for four writers, previewing the upcoming NBA playoffs with a league-wide scope: 1. What 1-2 seed is most likely to get upset before the Conference Finals? Darnell Mayberry (beat writer) - Oklahoma City. The Thunder has by far the toughest road to the conference finals, with a wrestling match out of the gate against Memphis and a shootout series on deck with either the Clippers or Warriors. San Antonio should execute the Mavs in the first round and easily out-savvy either Houston or Portland in the second round. And the East isn't even in the discussion. Jenni Carlson (columnist) - San Antonio. The reason: old legs. I think way more highly of the Spurs and the Thunder than I do of the Pacers and the Heat,

  • NBA Playoff Roundtable: How wary should the Thunder be of an early upset?

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Thu, Apr 17, 2014

    Four questions for four writers, previewing the upcoming NBA playoffs with a league-wide scope: 1.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Published: Tue, Apr 8, 2014

    Columnist Jenni Carlson will be on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m., answering your questions on everything from the NCAA basketball tournament to the Thunder playoff picture. Get you questions in here.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Caron Butler wants a bigger part on playing for a championship team

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Wed, Apr 2, 2014

    Butler already has a ring, won three years ago when he was in Dallas. But an injury kept him from playing even a single minute during the Mavs’ playoff run. Signing with Oklahoma City gives Butler a chance to actually play in a championship series.

  • Thunder roundtable: Are the Spurs now the Western Conference favorites?

    Anthony Slater | Published: Wed, Apr 2, 2014

    Four questions for four writers, previewing Thursday’s showdown between the Spurs and Thunder and looking down the road at a potential playoff matchup between the two: 1.

  • Jenni Carlson chat: Oklahoma State's quarterbacks, college coaches' pay and Tiger Woods

    staff reports | Published: Tue, Apr 1, 2014

    Columnist Jenni Carlson is live on the Power Lunch chat today at 11 a.m. Get your questions in here to talk about Thunder, the Oklahoma State 2004 Final Four team and more.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: How Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie helped build the Thunder culture

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Mar 29, 2014

    The Thunder has always been intentional about bringing in influential veterans. But during an interview with Bill Simmons during All-Star Weekend, Kevin Durant talked glowingly about Kevin Ollie, who he said helped change the team’s culture.

  • Jenni Carlson chat: Travis Ford's future, who the Thunder misses more and the OU backfield mix

    staff reports | Published: Tue, Mar 25, 2014

    Columnist Jenni Carlson talked impact freshman on the football field, Travis Ford's job security and the young Thunder players' development on the Power Lunch chat Tuesday. Here's the full transcript:

  • Magic is right, Kevin Durant an easy choice for MVP

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Mon, Mar 24, 2014

    On the day that three-time MVP Magic Johnson proclaimed the race over, Durant further stated his case against the Nuggets on Monday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

  • Jenni Carlson chat: Westbrook's rest, the Sooners' NCAA aftermath and OSU's chances

    staff reports | Published: Fri, Mar 21, 2014

    Columnist Jenni Carlson was on the Power Lunch chat Friday talking Thunder, Cowboys and Sooners. Here's the full transcript:

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Published: Fri, Mar 14, 2014

    Where will the Cowboys and Sooners land in the NCAA Tournament? Did the Rockets ignite the Thunder for the stretch run? Ask Jenni Carlson on the Power Lunch chat today at 11 a.m. Get your questions in now.

  • OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley meet again

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Tue, Mar 11, 2014

    COMMENTARY— The Thunder point guard faced off against the Rocket who injured his knee in last year’s playoffs. OKC got the last laugh this time, pulling out a 106-98 win.

  • OKC Thunder: You may not know superfan Susan Clark, but you've certainly heard her

    | Published: Thu, Feb 27, 2014

    JENNI CARLSON COMMENTARY — If you regularly watch Thunder games, you’ve probably heard Susan Clark before. She’s the superfan that sits midcourt and yells “Come on, Russellllllllll!” “It surprises me everytime I do it,” Clark said.




Jenni Carlson Today at 11:01 PM And now, RW at the scorer's table.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:54 PM Apparently the RW jersey tuck meant nothing. Back to the end of the bench.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:54 PM Tony Allen reminds me a little of a 9-year-old kid. And I mean that in a nice way. Lives and dies with every call, play, etc.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:53 PM @iammattcraig Nope. Unless there's something official from the team, we won't know any more until after the game.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:52 PM Westbrook tucking in his jersey. Is he coming back in? We'll see.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:49 PM Nick Collison is going to be one big scab once this season is over.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:44 PM RT @anthonyVslater: Memphis in the first half: 12-of-48 shooting, 34 points. Memphis in the third quarter: 14-of-24, 31 points.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:43 PM To me, giving up 31 is the bigger problem. Not getting stops means not getting out and running. Pushing the tempo is key for OKC.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:42 PM RT @Michael_Cohen13: Dave Joerger did not make a substitution during that entire quarter. Everyone is spent. Bench needs to contribute here…
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:41 PM Which is worse: Thunder giving up 31 points in that quarter or scoring 13?
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:37 PM @rockethoops Gotta get defensive stops to get out and run. Stops are few and far between right now.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:35 PM The way Russ is playing, I have to wonder if he's hurt. Saw him clutch his stomach at one point, also his thigh.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:33 PM KD draws the foul. Great way to re-capture the shooting touch.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:33 PM The magic has gone from KD and RW. Shots not falling. And now Thunder not rebounding.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:26 PM Shot clock started when no one touched the ball. Collison looks at scorer's table, yells, "C'mon!"
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:21 PM Now a nine point game. Here we go.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:21 PM Grizz start the second half on a 17-4 run. Thunder sloppy, not getting in front of guys, turnovers.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:13 PM Grizz with a 6-0 run to start the half.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:13 PM Thunder with a less-than-sharp opening to the second half. Brooks with the quick TO.
Jenni Carlson Today at 10:12 PM I'm sure Prince is legit sick, but if guarding KD was my assignment, it would probably make me sick to my stomach.