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.




  • The Oklahoman's 2014-15 NBA predictions: Serge Ibaka dominates Defensive POTY picks

    From Staff Reports | Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    The Oklahoman’s staff makes predictions for the NBA season, including Finals picks, coaches on the hot seat and team on the rise.

  • The Oklahoman's 2014-15 NBA predictions: Coach of the Year

    Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    The Oklahoman’s staff makes predictions for the NBA season, including Finals picks, coaches on the hot seat and team on the decline.

  • The Oklahoman's 2014-15 NBA predictions: Jabari Parker is Rookie of the Year

    From Staff Reports | Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    The Oklahoman’s staff makes predictions for the NBA season, including Finals picks, coaches on the hot seat and team on the decline.

  • The Oklahoman's 2014-15 NBA predictions: Anthony, Harden, Durant among scoring leaders

    From Staff Reports | Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    The Oklahoman’s staff makes predictions for the NBA season, including Finals picks, coaches on the hot seat and team on the decline.

  • The Oklahoman's 2014-15 NBA predictions: Most Valuable Player

    From Staff Reports | Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    The Oklahoman’s staff makes predictions for the NBA season, including Finals picks, coaches on the hot seat and team on the decline.

  • Meet the 'Prime-Timers': How Dorsa Ahlefield and Janie Hutchens went all in on the Thunder

    By JENNI CARLSON | Published: Sun, Oct 26, 2014

    Dorsa Ahlefeld and Janie Hutchens have been friends through high school and college and marriages and kids and divorces and even grandkids. But a few years back, their friendship entered new territory — the Thunder zone.

  • Meet the 'Prime-Timers': Sharing the stories of passionate Oklahoma City Thunder fans over 60

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, Oct 26, 2014

    We went looking for Thunder fans who are 60 years old and up, and we heard from lots of folks about this staunch segment of the fan base. Many of those folks, though, wanted to tell us about their passionate parents or their giddy grandparents.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder roundtable: Oklahoman writers examine some storylines for upcoming season

    Published: Thu, Oct 23, 2014

    Four questions for four writers, examining some Thunder storylines entering the upcoming season. 1. __________ needs to step up most in Durant's absence? Darnell Mayberry (beat writer) – Reggie Jackson. All eyes will be on Russell Westbrook. But we know what the Thunder will get from him. And we also know he can't do it alone. He'll need as much help as he can get. But the guy who has to help him most is the next most talented offensive player, and that is now Jackson. Anthony Slater (beat writer) – Agreed. Gotta be Jackson. Westbrook already does so much for this team. Can’t really expect his numbers to take that much of a bump. Same with Serge Ibaka. They are secure in their roles. But Jackson should suddenly

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Jenni Carlson

    staff reports | Updated: Thu, Oct 23, 2014

    Cowboys vs. Sports Illustrated. Sooners vs. the off week. Thunder vs. injuries. Join columnist Jenni Carlson at 11 a.m. with your OU, Oklahoma State and Thunder questions on the Power Lunch chat.

  • Thunder fans have more to worry about than draft lottery reform

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Oct 22, 2014

    Thunder fans have plenty to worry about these days. Kevin Durant’s foot. Russell Westbrook’s temper. The team’s shoddy defense and shabby shooting as the regular season looms. So, there probably wasn’t room on the blue-and-orange radar for this worry — draft lottery reform.

  • Thinking the Thunder will miss the playoffs is a big mistake

    By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Oct 13, 2014

    Kevin Durant’s injury is not a deal breaker. This won’t derail the Thunder’s title hopes — despite what some folks think.

  • Power Lunch: Chat with columnist Jenni Carlson

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    Ready to talk OU-Texas? How about OSU-Kansas? We can even talk Thunder basketball. Bring your questions at 11 a.m. and chat live with columnist Jenni Carlson.

  • 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 | Updated: Mon, Sep 29, 2014

    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.




Jenni Carlson Today at 8:40 AM RT @NWSNorman: 7:48am - Updated Snowfall Map. Watch out for slicks spots on roads. LINK
Jenni Carlson Fri, Dec. 26 2014 06:05:02 PM CST RT @anthonyVslater: Kevin Durant signing autographs for kids, agreeing to take a few fan selfies and walking without a limp pregame. Almost…
Jenni Carlson Fri, Dec. 26 2014 06:02:05 PM CST RT @DarnellMayberry: Brooks says Lamb's current role is not permanent but adds he is looking for consistency out of Lamb.
Jenni Carlson Fri, Dec. 26 2014 06:00:23 PM CST RT @anthonyVslater: Kevin Durant participated in parts of shootaround this morning, per Scott Brooks. Not tonight, but sounds like he's get…
Jenni Carlson Fri, Dec. 26 2014 10:58:43 AM CST RT @NewsOKSports: We're chatting #sooners vs. #Clemson and the @RussellAthBowl with @ryaber. Get your question in here: LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 25 2014 09:59:26 PM CST RT @anthonyVslater: From earlier: Five observations from the Thunder's impressive win in San Antonio - LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 25 2014 09:42:53 PM CST RT @kylefredrickson: #OKstate Christmas night reading: Zac Veatch's switch to tight end bolsters the Cowboy offensive line --> LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 25 2014 09:21:08 PM CST RT @DarnellMayberry: Russell Westbrook is going to do things his way, whether you like it or not - LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 25 2014 04:35:21 PM CST RT @NewsOKSports: FINAL: Thunder 114, Spurs 106. Russell Westbrook leads the way with 34 points: LINK LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 25 2014 04:34:07 PM CST @EdgemereElem I have one that we could loan. Won't be able to hand it off till Saturday or Sunday. Email jcarlson@opubco.com
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 25 2014 02:47:20 PM CST RT @NewsOK: Kevin Durant addresses his ankle injury and concerns it might be more than a mild sprain LINK
Jenni Carlson Thu, Dec. 25 2014 07:52:35 AM CST Merry Christmas! Hope Santa brought you everything you want, but remember, that baby Jesus gives you everything you need.
Jenni Carlson Tue, Dec. 23 2014 02:08:01 PM CST RT @DarnellMayberry: It's easy to root for underdog Andre Roberson LINK
Jenni Carlson Tue, Dec. 23 2014 12:19:30 PM CST RT @anthonyVslater: Kevin Durant remains OUT tonight against the Blazers with that right ankle sprain.
Jenni Carlson Tue, Dec. 23 2014 12:19:22 PM CST RT @DarnellMayberry: Kevin Durant will not play tonight against Portland due to a right ankle sprain.
Jenni Carlson Tue, Dec. 23 2014 10:05:00 AM CST Oklahoma native. MT @Dave_Matter: Sources confirm Missouri expected to announce Barry Odom as new defensive coordinator today.
Jenni Carlson Tue, Dec. 23 2014 08:12:53 AM CST RT @MikeSherman: #OKCThunder's current stretch of games a tough test for Serge Ibaka LINK via @JenniCarlson_OK
Jenni Carlson Mon, Dec. 22 2014 10:17:15 PM CST RT @jasonkersey: Here is an updated story from @ryaber and I on Jozsef Szendrei's dismissal: LINK #Sooners
Jenni Carlson Mon, Dec. 22 2014 07:43:09 PM CST @GrantWahl Hopefully, my fam will have worked through it by the time we get there WEDNESDAY. Could be a stretch for them.
Jenni Carlson Mon, Dec. 22 2014 07:40:02 PM CST @hochman He's got them fooled. Clearly.