Jenni Carlson
Sports 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 Jenni Carlson from H&H Shooting Sports

    staff reports | Updated: Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    It's Wednesday on the Power Lunch chat! Get your men's and women's NCAA Tournament, Thunder, and spring football questions in to Jenni Carlson on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m., live from H&H Shooting Sports,

  • News of Serge Ibaka's knee problem is no reason to give up on the season

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    Just think about all the maladies that have befallen this team. Kevin Durant breaks his foot, then has to have a second surgery on his foot to replace a screw. Russell Westbrook breaks his hand, then breaks his face. The list goes on.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook needs Kevin Durant now and forever more

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Wed, Mar 11, 2015

    Playing for the first time since a media pundit suggested Westbrook’s recent play will make it more likely the Thunder will trade Durant — a notion Thunder general manager Sam Presti called “ludicrous” in an interview with our Darnell Mayberry before the game — this night was a reminder of how much the Thunder needs KD. Russ is great. Russ is spectacular. But Russ can’t do it alone, especially against the best teams in the league.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Time to put aside the handwringing and appreciate Russell Westbrook

    BY JENNI CARLSON | Published: Tue, Feb 24, 2015

    Since the start of the playoffs last spring, Westbrook has notched six triple-doubles. What this guy is doing is not only special but also historic.

  • Thunder notebook: Frank Vogel calls his former point guard D.J. Augustin 'great pick-up' for OKC

    BY ANTHONY SLATER | Published: Tue, Feb 24, 2015

    One person that knows D.J. Augustin well is Indiana coach Frank Vogel. Augustin played for him two seasons ago, serving as the backup point guard for a Pacers team that came within a game of the NBA Finals.

  • Russell Westbrook is creating a lot of buzz inside and outside the classrooms

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Mon, Feb 23, 2015

    Even as Westbrook hoped to inspire off the court, that reaction from the kids when he arrived was a reminder of what he’s doing on the court. The way he’s been playing is worthy of oohs and aahs.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Kendrick Perkins will be missed in many ways

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Feb 19, 2015

    Thursday brought great change to Oklahoma City. Nearly a third of the roster is turning over. Even though many pundits believe the Thunder was among the day’s biggest winners, it definitely lost something on this NBA trade deadline.

  • Sam Presti's belief in Reggie Jackson was misplaced

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Feb 18, 2015

    Wednesday, a day before the NBA trade deadline, we learned that Jackson wants out of Oklahoma City and he wants out now. Yahoo Sports broke the news that Jackson’s agent asked Presti that his client to be traded. This puts the Thunder in a huge bind.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Updated: Fri, Jan 16, 2015

    How would a Brook Lopez trade change the Thunder? What kind of work is Travis Ford doing in Stillwater? Is Lincoln Riley the Sooners' answer at offensive coordinator? Ask columnist Jenni Carlson on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m.

  • Look at the numbers — Thunder defense is better when Kendrick Perkins is on the floor

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Jan 14, 2015

    The Thunder plays better defense when Perk is on the floor — that’s just not hyperbole; that’s factual — and not surprisingly, the Thunder also wins more games with him on the floor. This is going to blow the minds of some of the Perk detractors out there, but the numbers don’t lie.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder roundtable: What's a realistic move we could see OKC make before the trade deadline?

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    The Thunder is at a bit of a crossroads, sitting at 18-19, on the outside of the playoffs looking in and needing to play far better in the second half. So this seems as good a time as any to check in with one of our occasional roundtables.

  • Thunder plays dogged defense late in win over Jazz

    By Jenni Carlson | Published: Fri, Jan 9, 2015

    On a night everyone will be buzzing about Kevin Durant’s fourth quarter and Dion Waiters’ late three, this game actually turned when the Thunder decided to quit messing around and lock down on defense.

  • Thunder Blood Drive: Why 9-year-old Thunder fan Gage Novosad is sharing the importance of donating blood

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Dec 25, 2014

    When the Oklahoma Blood Institute asked Gage Novosad to be its spokeskid for this weekend’s Thunder Blood Drive, he wanted to help. After being diagnosed with leukemia, blood transfusions became a part of his life. He hasn’t needed one in several months, but he got blood from eight donors. With the holidays always being a slow time for blood donations and the blood supply being critically low, he knows there may be other kids like him who need blood now.

  • Thunder basketball: Current stretch of games a tough test for Serge Ibaka

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Dec 22, 2014

    Serge struggled Sunday against the Pelicans and star power forward Anthony Davis. On Tuesday against LaMarcus Aldridge and the Blazers, then again Thursday against Tim Duncan and the Spurs, Ibaka has a chance at redemption.

  • Thunder basketball: Serge Ibaka's struggles against top power forwards

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Dec 22, 2014

    Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka has struggled in games against other top power forwards in the NBA this season.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder roundtable: Breaking down the Thunder season after the first trimester

    Published: Sat, Dec 20, 2014

    With all that has already happened, it’s hard to believe the NBA season is only a third old. What have we learned? Who has surprised? Disappointed? We ask four writers four questions, breaking down the first 27 games of OKC’s season.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Updated: Fri, Dec 12, 2014

    The high school playoffs carry on. The Thunder winning streak does as well. Bowl season is near. What's next for Tyreek Hill? Send in your questions to Jenni Carlson on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m.

  • Power Lunch: Chat live with columnist Jenni Carlson

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Fri, Dec 5, 2014

    Come talk Bedlam football, Thunder basketball, Douglass/Locus Grove and more with columnist Jenni Carlson. She'll be taking your questions live starting at 11 a.m.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook is all smiles in his return — and so are OKC fans

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Nov 29, 2014

    Russell Westbrook walked back toward the bench as the third quarter ended, and as the music started thumping, he couldn’t help himself. He started dancing. He wasn’t the only one feeling good. On a night that the Thunder point guard returned to the hardwood, that busted bone in his hand finally healed but still protected by a brace, everyone from Scott Brooks to Loud City to the far reaches of Thunder Nation got a reminder of what’s to come. It’s gonna be fun. Lots and lots of fun. Folks may not remember the final score of this game — it was Thunder 105, Knicks 78 for the record — but they’ll long remember the way it felt. “It was exciting, man,” Westbrook said. “It was nice to be able to go

Jenni Carlson Fri, May. 22 2015 02:57:01 PM CST Red Wolves it is at Capitol Hill. I probably would have voted for Guardians, but either way, the school got a unique mascot.
Jenni Carlson Fri, May. 22 2015 02:55:46 PM CST Capitol Hill High School announces new mascot LINK
Jenni Carlson Fri, May. 22 2015 01:55:31 PM CST At Capitol Hill HS where a new mascot will be announced. Redskins is out. Will it be Guardians or RedWolves?
Jenni Carlson Fri, May. 22 2015 09:55:56 AM CST ICYMI: Today's the day Capitol Hill announces its new mascot. Either way, it's an investment in the future. LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, May. 21 2015 12:06:57 PM CST RT @jasonkersey: Just finished the latest draft of my upcoming profile of @OU_Track pole vaulter @jtannerwilliams. Really excited for you a…
Jenni Carlson Thu, May. 21 2015 12:04:52 PM CST RT @jasonkersey: ICYMI: My story in today's newspaper on @OU_Softball freshman third baseman @kelsarnold12 LINK #Sooners
Jenni Carlson Thu, May. 21 2015 11:50:29 AM CST RT @MikeSherman: Capitol Hill will spend/invest a quarter-million to change its mascot from Redskins. Which is it? via @JenniCarlson_OK @Th…
Jenni Carlson Wed, May. 20 2015 11:41:03 AM CST Former #OKState administrator and Rodgers State. Congrats, Wren!
Jenni Carlson Wed, May. 20 2015 11:10:01 AM CST RT @WojYahooNBA: Yahoo Sources: Scott Brooks passing on New Orleans and Denver coaching interviews, likely sitting out next season. http://…
Jenni Carlson Wed, May. 20 2015 11:08:04 AM CST RT @jjhelsley: We are LIVE at the #okstate live chat. C'mon, bring your questions. The queue is a bit empty. LINK
Jenni Carlson Wed, May. 20 2015 10:39:20 AM CST Power Lunch live chat with John Helsley. You know you want to ask a question! LINK
Jenni Carlson Wed, May. 20 2015 09:58:54 AM CST RT @jjhelsley: Hump Day version of the OSU Power Lunch live chat coming up at 11 a.m. Plan to join me. #OkState baseball, football, hoops o…
Jenni Carlson Tue, May. 19 2015 05:32:31 PM CST RT @DarnellMayberry: Russell Westbrook wins season long NBA Cares Community Assist Award, The Oklahoman has learned LINK
Jenni Carlson Tue, May. 19 2015 05:28:37 PM CST ICYMI: If you coach kids in any sport at any level, you're going to want to read this. LINK
Jenni Carlson Tue, May. 19 2015 05:00:59 PM CST RT @OKDOT: OKC-WB-I40 near Penn Ave and Agnus narrowed to repair a hole in the road #trucking
Jenni Carlson Tue, May. 19 2015 04:58:27 PM CST RT @emilyrsutton: Whoa! Way to go, Good Samaritan!
Jenni Carlson Tue, May. 19 2015 11:38:38 AM CST RT @jacobunruh: ICYMI: My look at Lawton native Brian Burgamy's 13-year journey to Triple A with the OKC Dodgers #OKPreps LINK
Jenni Carlson Tue, May. 19 2015 10:11:15 AM CST RT @NewsOKSports: Join columnist @JenniCarlson_OK for a live chat at 11. She'll be talking #okcthunder, #sooners softball and more. http://…
Jenni Carlson Tue, May. 19 2015 09:37:24 AM CST Got plans for lunch? Join me for today's Power Lunch live chat. 11 a.m. Be there! LINK
Jenni Carlson Tue, May. 19 2015 09:32:49 AM CST If you coach kids in any sport at any level, you're going to want to read this. Then maybe go buy Joe Ehrmann's book. LINK