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 Fri, Aug. 22 2014 05:38:40 PM CST RT @NewsOKSports: The Oklahoma City RedHawks will become the Los Angeles Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate next season: LINK
Jenni Carlson Wed, Aug. 20 2014 01:26:47 PM CST @HeismanPundit You realize this is the Browns, right? ;)
Jenni Carlson Wed, Aug. 20 2014 01:20:45 PM CST RT @kylefredrickson: Former #OKstate QB Wes Lunt has been named the starter at Illinois (via @Champaign_Room)
Jenni Carlson Tue, Aug. 19 2014 09:34:18 PM CST @_davemorris Thanks. Lots of great causes to support in this world.
Jenni Carlson Tue, Aug. 19 2014 09:13:10 PM CST @douthitt4 Ha ha ... @BerryTramel came prepared in the swim trunks! I wasn't going to wear the bathing suit on camera! No, no, no, no ...
Jenni Carlson Tue, Aug. 19 2014 09:10:42 PM CST Press Row = new level. RT @_davemorris: Had to happen: ice bucket challenge w @BerryTramel @JenniCarlson_OK LINK
Jenni Carlson Tue, Aug. 19 2014 09:10:27 PM CST I challenge @MikeSherman, @amymoritz and @dawnmarks. LINK
Jenni Carlson Tue, Aug. 19 2014 09:09:14 PM CST @jasonkersey My brain was froze!
Jenni Carlson Tue, Aug. 19 2014 04:34:29 PM CST @JerredEngland Sweet! I'm on vacation this week, but I'll alert the HS sports folks. Maybe they can get something in the paper!
Jenni Carlson Mon, Aug. 18 2014 03:03:22 PM CST There's live sports on TV -- Premier League, no less -- and I'm watching HGTV? What is WRONG with me?!?
Jenni Carlson Sat, Aug. 16 2014 04:34:59 PM CST @kylefredrickson I'll ask you what I asked on video last Monday: will we see three QBs in opener? More and more, I'm leaning to yes.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Aug. 15 2014 05:39:02 AM CST Gonna need some serious caffeine to knock out this preseason football section copy. And go!
Jenni Carlson Thu, Aug. 14 2014 02:14:18 PM CST RT @NewsOKSports: LIVE: Thunder Thursday with @DarnellMayberry @MikeSherman @anthonyVslater @jennicarlson_ok: LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Aug. 14 2014 07:21:40 AM CST RT @kylefredrickson: I give my assessment of #OKstate's QB situation in a video chat with @JenniCarlson_OK right here: LINK
Jenni Carlson Wed, Aug. 13 2014 05:52:19 PM CST @s4stockton No worries. Just wanted to make sure if I'd written something that was confusing, I cleared it up.
Jenni Carlson Wed, Aug. 13 2014 04:08:33 PM CST @s4stockton Kind of explaining? What was unclear? I'm happy to clear anything up you might want to know ... @CareyWWLS
Jenni Carlson Wed, Aug. 13 2014 10:47:17 AM CST Where ya at, sports fans? It's an all skate! LINK
Jenni Carlson Wed, Aug. 13 2014 10:45:55 AM CST RT @NewsOKSports: What's up with the Frank Shannon situation? Ask @JenniCarlson_OK on the Power Lunch chat: LINK #sooners…
Jenni Carlson Wed, Aug. 13 2014 10:25:00 AM CST RT @NewsOKSports: Get your questions in to @JenniCarlson_OK on the Power Lunch chat. We're talking #sooners #okstate and #okcthunder: http:…
Jenni Carlson Wed, Aug. 13 2014 09:57:31 AM CST RT @DarnellMayberry: The Thunder's first three games are at Portland on Oct. 29, at the Clippers on Oct. 30 (via @BA_Turner) and home again…