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.




  • OKC Thunder: Scott Brooks finally shows his edgy side

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Wed, May 28, 2014

    COMMENTARY — With the Thunder battling back to tie the Western Conference Finals at 2 games apiece, OKC’s coach is showing he’s not always Mr. Sunshine.

  • Reggie Jackson says he's good to go for Game 5 in San Antonio

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Wed, May 28, 2014

    On a night when the Thunder thrashed the Spurs 105-92 and evened the Western Conference Finals, Oklahoma City had another injury scare. Jackson sprained his right ankle early in Game 4, and Thunder Nation gasped.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Spurs have no answer as OKC ties series

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Tue, May 27, 2014

    Tuesday night, the Thunder beat the Spurs 105-92 and tied up the series at two games apiece. Now, the Thunder has all the momentum and the Spurs look like the ones who are in trouble.

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Spurs, Game 4

    staff reports | Updated: Tue, May 27, 2014

    Can the Thunder even the Western Conference Finals at 2-2 with the San Antonio Spurs? Follow our live coverage of Game 4 with the NewsOK Sports team and more.

  • Western Conference Finals: San Antonio Spurs looked their age in Game 3 loss to Thunder

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Mon, May 26, 2014

    Suddenly, the ageless Spurs seem aged. Tired. Old. Maybe it was just an aberration Sunday night. Maybe the Thunder simply got a one-game boost from Serge Ibaka’s return from injury. Maybe the Spurs will return to their fast-cutting, ball-moving ways of last week as the Western Conference Finals continues.

  • OKC Thunder: Q&A with San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich

    Compiled by Jenni Carlson | Updated: Mon, May 26, 2014

    Monday, Popovich was in a playful mood before turning serious and having some extremely complementary things to say about Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka.

  • Serge Ibaka's heroics complemented by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Sun, May 25, 2014

    On a night that Ibaka was the headliner, the Thunder wouldn’t have defeated the Spurs 106-97 and breathed life back into its playoff hopes without its superstars.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Serge Ibaka returns to court, OKC returns to win column

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Sun, May 25, 2014

    On the night that Serge Ibaka returned not only to the court but also to the starting lineup, the Thunder returned to the win column. There will be no Spurs sweep. There will be no breezing to the NBA Finals for San Antonio.

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Spurs, Game 3

    staff reports | Updated: Sun, May 25, 2014

    Serge Ibaka is back in the starting lineup as the Thunder looks to get back into the Western Conference Finals tonight in Oklahoma City. Follow our live coverage from pregame to postgame with the NewsOK Sports team and more.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC isn't the only team that remembers that 2012 Western Conference Finals

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Updated: Sat, May 24, 2014

    The Spurs aren’t talking like a team up 2-0 in this series. There’s no happiness. There’s no contentedness. If anything, they seem to be drudging up disgust from how they ended up playing two years ago.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Serge Ibaka's recovery process likely not the norm

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Fri, May 23, 2014

    On the day he announced that Serge Ibaka might be able to play after all in the Western Conference Finals, might be able to help the Thunder against the Spurs, maybe Presti was feeling like a lot of Thunder fans. Maybe he was a little giddy.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Updated: Fri, May 23, 2014

    Columnist Jenni Carlson will be talking Thunder-Spurs, Big 12 baseball and more on the Power Lunch chat. Get your questions in and join the conversation at 11 a.m.

  • Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook have to keep their cool

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Thu, May 22, 2014

    It’s easy to understand frustration — the Thunder got its doors blown off, 112-77, and finds itself in a 2-0 hole in the Western Conference Finals — but the boys in blue seem to be fraying a bit mentally. It’s one thing to lose. It’s another thing to lose your cool.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC can't withstand Spurs' 3-point barrage

    Published: Wed, May 21, 2014

    Two nights after the Spurs scored a whopping 66 points in the paint and won going away, Wednesday night became a blowout because of a 3-point barrage by San Antonio.

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Spurs, Game 2

    staff reports | Updated: Wed, May 21, 2014

    The Oklahoma City Thunder looks to even the Western Conference Finals at 1-1 against the San Antonio Spurs tonight at 8 p.m. Follow our live coverage with the NewsOK Sports team and more.

  • OKC Thunder notebook: NBA commissioner Adam Silver says Kevin Durant 'embodies what this league is all about'

    By Jenni Carlson, Berry Tramel and Anthony Slater | Published: Tue, May 20, 2014

    Speaking before the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, commissioner Adam Silver was peppered with some Donald Sterling questions. But in maintaining his stern approach toward the disgraced Clippers owner, Silver also paid Thunder star Kevin Durant a supreme compliment. “Kevin Durant, as our Most Valuable Player, embodies what this league is all about,” Silver said. “Mr. Sterling doesn’t." FREE-THROW ADVANTAGE One of the few areas where the Thunder had the advantage over the Spurs in Game 1 was the free-throw line. Oklahoma City got to the line more, shooting 23 free throws to San Antonio’s 17. The Thunder also shot a better percentage, 82.6 percent to the Spurs’ 76.5. “We’ve got to

  • OKC Thunder: Could Perry Jones help slow down the Spurs?

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Tue, May 20, 2014

    COMMENTARY — Second-year forward was effective in a regular-season matchup against LeBron James and the Heat. Could he be the same player in the Western Conference Finals?

  • Spurs-Thunder Q&A: Andre Roberson talks about playing back in San Antonio

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Tue, May 20, 2014

    Thunder rookie Andre Roberson is living his dream — playing in the NBA — and now, he’s living part of it back in the city where it took root. He is a San Antonio native, and with the Thunder facing the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, the surroundings this week are very familiar for Roberson. He talked to The Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson about his San Antonio ties. Q: As a San Antonio native playing in your first playoffs in your hometown, what has this been like for you? A: It’s like any other game. We have to prepare the same way every time. This team’s no different. We’ve got a game plan, and we’re going to come out hard and play aggressive. Tell me about growing up in San Antonio.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: To beat the Spurs, OKC's going to need even more dominance from the point guards

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Tue, May 20, 2014

    On Monday night, the Thunder didn’t get enough offense or defense out of its point guards. Yes, Russell Westbrook scored 25 and Reggie Jackson added 13, but they needed 32 shots to get those 38 points.

  • OKC Thunder: Spurs roll Thunder, take advantage of Serge Ibaka's absence

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Mon, May 19, 2014

    The Spurs took advantage of Ibaka’s absence. During the four regular-season games that these two teams played, the Spurs averaged 41.5 points in the paint. They had nearly that many at halftime Monday night.




Jenni Carlson Today at 3:25 PM RT @CodyStavenhagen: Rocco Mediate says Tiger needs to fix his swing. "I hope he does, because we need him back where he belongs, period."
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:40 PM @johnm_welch Since I'm currently inside, no ... :)
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:32 PM The way today is going, we'll be lucky to have eight guys under par heading into the final round.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:30 PM So, apparently, Jeff Sluman broke his driver. He's trying new ones as he goes. Crazy stuff.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:26 PM Rocco Mediate = a sweater. Needs to find some of those dry fit shirts. The ones he wears don't hide the sweat AT ALL.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:24 PM Montgomerie is back to 6-under after a bogey on 6. Langer stays at 5-under after hit tee shot at 7 stays dry. Barely. Like by an inch.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:00 PM Just walked a couple holes with Montgomerie. I can report this: it's HOT!
Jenni Carlson Today at 1:16 PM @JoeJacobi @_davemorris There were some guys who played in the water these past few days. Not intentionally, of course.
Jenni Carlson Today at 1:15 PM @IbatheWonderDog If he keeps it up, our headline is done! ;)
Jenni Carlson Today at 1:07 PM Rocco Mediate is charging. Started 2-over. Now 1-under. Four birdies, one bogey on his card through 11 holes.
Jenni Carlson Today at 1:00 PM Colin Montgomerie opens with a birdie, extends his lead to two shots.
Jenni Carlson Today at 12:59 PM @_davemorris Me, too, DMo!
Jenni Carlson Today at 12:40 PM @srooker Thank you!
Jenni Carlson Today at 12:40 PM We're back at Oak Tree National. It's moving day at the U.S. Senior Open. Most movement so far: Vijay Singh double bogeying No. 1. Ouch.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Jul. 11 2014 03:57:42 PM CST @johnm_welch Warm? No. Blazing hot? Yes.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Jul. 11 2014 03:04:22 PM CST @krathkey Wow. Kinda cuts me, since I've been out here sweating for the past five days! ;)
Jenni Carlson Fri, Jul. 11 2014 03:01:23 PM CST Two more players have withdrawn from the U.S. Senior Open. Larry Laoretti and Dave Podas. At 75, Laoretti was the oldest man in the field.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Jul. 11 2014 02:53:05 PM CST So, our projected cut line is now at 9-over. Which means Scott Verplank might just get in. He gave his driver to a fan on 18 today. #nowwhat
Jenni Carlson Fri, Jul. 11 2014 02:50:19 PM CST @gimmethewooby I have no doubt ... :)
Jenni Carlson Fri, Jul. 11 2014 02:34:46 PM CST @dtchamberlain :)