Jenni Carlson
Sports Reporter and 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.




  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Fri, Mar 18, 2016

    Join columnist Jenni Carlson today at 11 a.m. to talk about the NCAA Tournament, the Thunder and more in the Power Lunch live chat.

  • OKC Thunder: Serge Ibaka has monster game, says Thunder gave Warriors something to think about

    Compiled by Jenni Carlson, Columnist, jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Feb 27, 2016

    After struggling in the Oklahoma City Thunder's first game against the Warriors, Thunder big man Serge Ibaka had a monster game Saturday night. He scored 15 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and played 41 minutes in a 121-118 overtime loss to Golden State. Q: Was this as tough a loss as it looked? A: Yeah, it was tough. We gave everything. We know we were playing against one of the best teams. Made a couple mistakes. But the good thing, we learn from that. What about your individual performance stands out? I'm just going to try to be focused and do my job and try to play defense. I know they like to play small ball a lot, so I'm just going to try to be aggressive and get to the glass.

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant fouls out, misses most of overtime in loss to Golden State

    By Jenni Carlson, Columnist, jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Feb 27, 2016

    Kevin Durant sat at his locker long after the final buzzer Saturday night, his shoes and socks off but his jersey and shorts still on. At a time when the Thunder superstar is normally showered and dressed, he instead slunk down in his chair. This was a gut punch. Golden State 121, Oklahoma City 118 in overtime. On a night when basketball was at its best, exciting and emotional and physical and mental and tenacious and glorious, this game had a million and one storylines. But Durant not being on the floor for most of overtime was a complete and total buzzkill, for no one more than Durant. “I'm sure Kevin wanted to be out there playing,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. Kevin wasn't the only

  • Meet the Thunder super fan who's never missed a game

    By Jenni Carlson, Columnist, jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Feb 26, 2016

    Since the Thunder arrived in Oklahoma City nearly eight full seasons ago, Juan Guerra hasn't missed a home game. Not because of bad weather. Not because of illness. Not because it was a Tuesday and an awful team was in town and he'd rather stay home and play video games.

  • Thunder fan tells LeBron to 'suck it up', says she'd say it again

    Jenni Carlson | Updated: Mon, Feb 22, 2016

    LeBron James was confronted by an unlikely opponent in a courtside fan during the second quarter Sunday in Oklahoma City. "Just suck it up, LeBron!" the fan yelled as James pleaded with an official during the end of the second quarter with the Cavaliers leading 60-53. James posted a video of the sequence on his Instagram account with the caption "I guess she told me!! Hahahaha," accompanied with the hashtags #JustSuckItUpLeBron #NoMomo #Classic.

  • OKC Thunder coach's words resonate with many

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Feb 20, 2016

    Monty Williams spoke Thursday at his wife's memorial service about forgiveness and the role faith has played in their lives.

  • Thunder Buddies Podcast: How would you grade the Randy Foye deal?

    Anthony Slater,darnell mayberry,Berry Tramel,Jenni Carlson | Updated: Thu, Feb 18, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- 02/18 (<–Click Here) - Just hours before the trade deadline, Sam Presti struck a deal -- sending D.J. Augustin and Steve Novak to Denver for Randy Foye and some flexibility. How would you grade the deal? On our weekly Thunder Thursday, we discuss. Archive Thunder Buddies -- 02/16 (<–Click Here) - The

  • Why Mitch McGary is the Thunder's most attractive trade piece

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Wed, Feb 17, 2016

    McGary is talented and skilled, but he is simply caught behind a logjam of big men who are more talented and skilled.

  • OKC Thunder: What we'll learn at Golden State on 'Super Ball Saturday'

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    All eyes will be on the Bay Area come Super Bowl Sunday. But Super Ball Saturday will be a must-see event, too. It is time for Thunder-Warriors, and frankly, the Super Bowl couldn't have a better warm-up act on the banks of the bay. Two talented teams. Lots of superstars. Tons of intrigue.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Thu, Jan 28, 2016

    Join The Oklahoman's award-winning columnist Jenni Carlson at 11 a,m. to talk OU, OSU, the Thunder and the upcoming Super Bowl in the Power Lunch live chat.

  • Collected Wisdom: Brian Davis, Thunder television play-by-play announcer

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Jan 23, 2016

    Davis has been the television play-by-play voice of the Thunder since the team's inaugural season in Oklahoma City.

  • Saturday night's all right

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Jan 22, 2016

    The Thunder doesn't play many home games on Saturday, but with the start of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC, Oklahoma City has as many home games on Saturday night in the next couple months as it had in the last three regular seasons combined. Here's a look at the Thunder's Saturday night regular-season games in the over the years: 2015-16 Dec. 19 Los Angeles Lakers Jan. 2 at Charlotte Feb. 6 at Golden State Feb. 27 Golden State March 12 at San Antonio March 19 at Indian March 26 San Antonio April 9 at Sacramento 2014-15 Nov. 1 Denver Jan. 31 at Memphis Feb. 21 at Charlotte March 28 at Utah 2013-14 Nov. 16 at Milwaukee Dec. 21 at San

  • The NBA is trying to take over Saturday nights. What does this mean for Thunder fans?

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Jan 22, 2016

    The league is launching NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC, and it is going big with a marquee game on eight Saturday nights. The slate includes some of the season's best match-ups.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Tue, Jan 5, 2016

    Join The Oklahoman's sports columnist Jenni Carlson to talk OU, OSU and the Thunder at 11 a.m. in the Power Lunch live chat.

  • OKC Thunder: Fans miss out on chance to see Kobe Bryant

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Published: Sat, Dec 19, 2015

    On an afternoon the Thunder walloped the Lakers, 118-78, this match-up lost its juice before it ever started. News came about 90 minutes before tip that Kobe would not play because of a sore right shoulder.

  • Thunder Buddies Podcast: So how about that Thunder blowout in Memphis?

    Anthony Slater,Erik Horne,Jenni Carlson | Updated: Wed, Dec 9, 2015

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies - 12/09 (<–Click Here) - How much can we take from the Thunder's blowout of the Grizzlies on Tuesday night? What encourages you about this team? Concerns you? We discuss.

  • The reason Kevin Durant is an Oklahoma Hall of Famer: No one has raised our state’s profile higher

    By Jenni Carlson Columnist jcarlson@oklahoman.com | Updated: Wed, Nov 18, 2015

    On Thursday night, the Thunder superstar will be inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Not the state's sports hall of fame. The state's hall of fame. Being in the hall of fame is the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive.

  • 2015 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Inductees

    Published: Wed, Nov 18, 2015

    2015 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Induction Class Kevin Durant: Thunder superstar and 2014 NBA MVP Jim Halsey: Longtime manager of Roy Clark and Oak Ridge Boys Bill Hancock: Executive director of College Football Playoff Mike Larsen: Chickasaw painter and sculptor William Ross: Chairman of Inasmuch Foundation and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Sharen Jester Turney: President and CEO of Victoria's Secret *Francis Tuttle: Pioneer of Oklahoma Career Tech system Steadman Upham: President of University of Tulsa *Posthumous inductee

  • OKC Thunder roundtable: What's the Thunder's biggest early-season issue?

    By Anthony Slater, Erik Horne, Jenni Carlson and Berry Tramel, Staff Writers | Updated: Fri, Nov 6, 2015

    Four writers from The Oklahoman discuss issues concerning the OKC Thunder.




Jenni Carlson Today at 9:37 PM RT @CedGolden: Waiting for the light bulb to go off in Billy Donovan's head: the one that says "You should double Aldridge."
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:33 PM Make it 10 TOs. And most have been unforced/sloppy.
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:32 PM #Thunder already has 9 TOs. Game 1? Had 10 total. For as bad as it played, OKC took care of the ball. Not so tonight.
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:26 PM @JDstadII I've seen the Mixon video ... and wrote that it's like the Rice video in its viciousness. Feel free to Google it up.
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:24 PM Is voodoo an option? https://t.co/TGJr5fAlCM
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:24 PM Have him take that Westbrook fella in the game with him, too. https://t.co/i54VRr5GYY
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:18 PM RT @ErikHorneOK: What a mess without Westbrook to start the 2nd quarter. Patty Mills looks super confident. Cameron Payne a step behind on…
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:13 PM RT @CliffBruntAP: First quarter rebounds: Steven Adams 7, San Antonio Spurs 7. #Thunder
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:12 PM RT @ErikHorneOK: End of first: Thunder 29, Spurs 21 Thunder free throw attempts in first quarter: 12 Spurs: 0
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:08 PM RT @anthonyVslater: Russell Westbrook's Game 1: 5-of-19 shooting, 14 points Russell Westbrook's first quarter toinght: 5-of-8 shooting, 14…
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:08 PM #Thunder had 3 FT attempts in the first half of Game 1. Tonight? 8 of 12 in the first quarter.
Jenni Carlson Today at 9:00 PM RT @anthonyVslater: Gregg Popovich brings Manu Ginobili over during timeout: "What'd I call?" Ginobili starts to answer. Pop: "Then run it"
Jenni Carlson Today at 8:59 PM Spurs shooting 13 percent so far. Didn't they have 13 baskets by this point the other night?
Jenni Carlson Today at 8:58 PM RT @TheGreat_Nate: Kevin Durant did his giddy up motion after that last 3. Usually a good thing for #Thunder. OKC shooting 67% / Spurs at 1…
Jenni Carlson Today at 8:57 PM RT @anthonyVslater: Steven Adams already has six rebounds less than six minutes into this one.
Jenni Carlson Today at 8:55 PM RT @DarnellMayberry: Fantastic start for Serge Ibaka. And Roberson's effort on Kawhi has been key early too.
Jenni Carlson Today at 8:53 PM RT @Monroe_SA: #Spurs went 4:20 between 1st FG and 2nd ... they're now 2-14 and have missed more layups (3) than they have made baskets (2)…
Jenni Carlson Today at 8:48 PM Like I was saying ... https://t.co/KEuJik4Ihe
Jenni Carlson Today at 8:47 PM RT @CedGolden: Spurs start 1-for-8 and four of those have come in the paint.

Advertisement