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.




  • 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.

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Spurs, Game 1

    staff reports | Updated: Mon, May 19, 2014

    The Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs meet again in the Western Conference Finals. Follow our live coverage with the NewsOK Sports team and more.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Why one of OKC's biggest fans is also a San Antonio Spurs fan

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, May 18, 2014

    As the Western Conference Finals tip off Monday night in San Antonio, no one is torn quite like Tom Travis. He’s a San Antonio native and an Oklahoma City transplant. But even more than that, he’s been behind the curtain and seen what makes the Spur Way a philosophy that the Thunder has tried to replicate from Day 1.

  • Thunder-Spurs roundtable: Who shoulders the most pressure because of the Serge Ibaka injury?

    staff reports | Updated: Sun, May 18, 2014

    Four questions for four writers, previewing the Western Conference showdown between the Thunder and Spurs.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder's Steven Adams: How tragedy helped turn the New Zealander who wanted to be a farmer into a basketball star

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Updated: Sun, May 18, 2014

    On the eve of the opener of the Western Conference Finals, Steven Adams finds himself in the crosshairs. It’s just another crazy turn of events in Adams’ career, a journey that might not have even started if not for the biggest heartbreak in his life.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: What they're saying about Steven Adams

    Updated: Sun, May 18, 2014

    Thunder rookie Steven Adams has the basketball world buzzing.

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Clippers, Game 6

    staff reports | Updated: Thu, May 15, 2014

    Can the Thunder close out its series against the Clippers tonight? Follow our live coverage with the NewsOK Sports team and more from Twitter.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Why Kevin Durant wasn't the only one who didn't see Russell Westbrook's game-winning free throws

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, May 14, 2014

    With the playoff series — and Thunder season — hanging in the balance Tuesday night, the Thunder superstar couldn’t bear to watch. He wasn’t the only one who didn’t see those game-winning free throws. There were a good number of Thunder fans who turned off their TVs and a few who even bolted from The Peake when it looked like their team wasn’t coming back in Game 5.

  • Thunder-Clippers: How it was Westbrook to the 'Russ-cue' in Game 5 for Oklahoma City

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Wed, May 14, 2014

    COMMENTARY — With Kevin Durant struggling as much as he ever has, Russell Westbrook delivered an explosive, fearless performance that saved Oklahoma City.

  • Kevin Durant: Measuring an MVP's value one personal encounter at a time

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Wed, May 14, 2014

    ‘KD & ME’ — Kevin Durant’s impact on Oklahoma is such that it seems almost everyone has their own story of a brush with Kevin. Ford Smith’s is both typical and one in a million.




Jenni Carlson Today at 4:58 PM Running into the kicker. WVU declines it, and #OKState takes the ball at its own 16.
Jenni Carlson Today at 4:57 PM And now a roughing/running into the punter flag. Oh, boy.
Jenni Carlson Today at 4:57 PM A third-down stop! A third-down stop! After WVU had three on this drive, the #OKState D stands up.
Jenni Carlson Today at 4:22 PM @Matt_McW28 No clue. We're in a press box with windows that don't open. Couldn't hear a thing, just the shrieking cheers.
Jenni Carlson Today at 4:20 PM Some of the loudest cheers of the day? When Homecoming Walk Around winners announced. HC is a big, big deal here at #OKState.
Jenni Carlson Today at 3:49 PM Glidden running off the field. Looks OK.
Jenni Carlson Today at 3:48 PM David Glidden down for #OKState. Garman's favorite intermediate target.
Jenni Carlson Today at 3:38 PM Big reverse run by Brandon Sheperd followed by a great throw to a wide-open Teddy Johnson, and #OKState pulls to within in 14-10.
Jenni Carlson Today at 3:22 PM #OKState on the board with a 41-yard Grogan field goal. WVU leads 14-3.
Jenni Carlson Today at 3:16 PM First quarter in the books here in Stillwater, and the #OKState D has stiffened. OSU still trails WVU 14-0, though.
Jenni Carlson Today at 3:02 PM RT @kylefredrickson: Yet another 1Q interception from Daxx Garman. In last four starts >> 6 INTs & 2 TDs
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:56 PM @clraynes Agreed but a rough stretch continues for the young guy.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:55 PM From the always astute @berrytramel, Clint Trickett currently on pace to throw for 1,123 today. TODAY!
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:53 PM Well, maybe it doesn't matter who Ramon Richards covers. That was his man AGAIN scoring a TD.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:46 PM Brain freeze: Kevin White beat Ramon RICHARDS like a drum, not Ramon Richardson. My bad.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:45 PM @rwillie11 Aw, geez, I did type Richardson. I've been fighting that ever since he started playing ...
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:44 PM 10:29 left in the 1Q, West Virginia leads 7-0.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:43 PM Pretty sure Ramon Richardson is not gonna be able to hang with Kevin White. Paging, Kevin Peterson.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:33 PM RT @kylefredrickson: #OKstate CB Ashton Lampkin runs out of the tunnel with the team wearing his jersey, but no pads.
Jenni Carlson Today at 2:30 PM We are nearing kickoff here in Stillwater. So, who you got, #OKState or WVU?