OKC Thunder: Thunder pays tribute to Brett Chase's father, others in military

Brett Chase was only 11 when his father, Staff Sgt. Lance Chase, was killed in action in Iraq.
by Anthony Slater Published: January 27, 2014
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photo - Mike Chase, left, talks with his grandson Brett during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Atlanta Hawks at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. Brett's father Lance was killed while serving in Iraq during 2006. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Mike Chase, left, talks with his grandson Brett during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Atlanta Hawks at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. Brett's father Lance was killed while serving in Iraq during 2006. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

“My brother was in the military for 20 years, so I understand the role that they play,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “It's an honor for us to have them here, and we support them here. They protect our country night in and night out.”

More than 1,000 Thunder season ticket holders gave up their spot to military personnel on Monday, including the two seats that Brett and Mike occupied.

“I wouldn't be surprised if one day in the future all of our season ticket holders give it up for a game,” Brooks said. “The people here are so generous.”

Throughout the night, there were different tributes and ceremonies to honor those fallen and those who have served, including a touching national anthem where the crowd, together, sang to the troops.

And through it all, Mike and Brett, grandfather and grandson, soaked it all in.

“It's great to be here, seeing all the military things they are doing, it's kind of moving,” Brett said. “It means a lot.”

“It was real special,” Mike said.

A special tribute to Lance and those like him.

“There's been tough times,” Brett said of losing his father. “Like graduating high school, stuff like that. Getting into college. It's been tough, but we get through it with family and nights like tonight.”


by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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