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.




  • With Anthony Morrow, the Thunder has replaced experience with hunger

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Sep 29, 2014

    Signing Morrow was the biggest of the franchise’s moves, and while he wasn’t the splash signing that many hoped, he might be just what the Thunder needs. That’s because of his shooting percentage and his lacking playoff experience.

  • Live Coverage: Thunder Media Day

    staff reports | Yesterday

    Thunder season is officially here. Join Darnell Mayberry, Anthony Slater and The Oklahoman sports team at noon as we bring you live coverage of Thunder media day with quotes, photos, video and more.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder roundtable: Who should start at center and shooting guard?

    From Staff Reports | Published: Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    Four questions for four writers, previewing the start of another Thunder season with camp set to begin early next week.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Updated: Fri, Sep 26, 2014

    Join Jenni Carlson live on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m., where she'll answer your questions on Oklahoma State's Big 12 win against Texas Tech, Thunder preseason and more. Get your questions in now.

  • 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.




Jenni Carlson Today at 1:18 PM @anthonyVslater Boo!
Jenni Carlson Sat, Sep. 27 2014 05:19:51 PM CST @jltitsworth78 Too. Much. Madness.
Jenni Carlson Sat, Sep. 27 2014 05:12:34 PM CST So, I take a little nap and wake up to NC STATE beating Florida State!?! OK, college football. Go on with your crazy self.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 03:13:20 PM CST @ginamizell @PaolaBoivin Wait, what? ;)
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 12:11:28 PM CST @DonWayne7 My pleasure! Always fun to interact with sports fans. :)
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 10:58:16 AM CST Power Lunch live chat gets cookin' here in a few. It'll be the most cookin' I do all day. #notthecookinourhouse LINK
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 10:20:29 AM CST Hey, sports fans. Power Lunch live chat at 11a. Football. Thunder. Ryder Cup. It's all on the table! LINK
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 10:19:49 AM CST RT @NewsOKSports: LIVE CHAT: Join @JenniCarlson_OK to talk #okstate football after the big win over Texas Tech: LINK
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:53:05 AM CST @aadelsonESPN Oh, yeah. I often tell them that they need to go walk around a cancer ward and get some perspective. This is SPORTS.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:47:28 AM CST Great stuff here. Captain Tom showered fully clothed for the team. MT @vgregorian: Watson pours heart into Ryder Cup: LINK
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:41:41 AM CST Seeing all these golfers bundled up in sweaters makes me want fall. C'mon, cool temps!
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:38:30 AM CST @aadelsonESPN People are neat.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:37:47 AM CST @GetSocialAdept That's a golf-specific shoe, though?
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:37:26 AM CST @gimmethewooby I wore my running shoes this summer, too, but that's cuz I can't figure out where the spikes are! #storage
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:36:44 AM CST @GetSocialAdept I always though spikes were stiff shoes. So, folks are just ditching the spikes?
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:23:30 AM CST Serious question -- looks more and more to me like golfers are just wearing comfy shoes. Spikeless. True? I used to know about such things.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:14:22 AM CST Power Lunch live chat with yours truly at 11a Central. Will post the link soon, but you've been warned -- get those brains working! Need ?s
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:12:23 AM CST @lukemcconnell1 Well, we got some of those during the Senior PGA event. Monty loved the course.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 09:03:22 AM CST Watching the Ryder Cup, I'm certain it is the next big event that Oak Tree needs. How much fun would THAT be? Woooo wee! #rydercup
Jenni Carlson Fri, Sep. 26 2014 08:47:21 AM CST Live sports on TV in the morning! Nothing better. #rydercup