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

On Jan. 23, Brett Chase sent out an emotional post, like he commonly does this time of year, in remembrance of his late father.

Staff Sgt. Lance Chase was killed in action in Iraq, in 2006, when Brett was 11-years-old.

“Eight years ago today you've been gone,” Brett wrote, in part, on Instagram, attaching a picture of his father. “In that time I've gone from a little 11 year old to a grown college student. Definitely been tough … love and miss you. Gone but not forgotten.”

Over the next couple days, that touching tribute reached the Thunder brass. And, with Military Appreciation Night set for Monday against the Atlanta Hawks, the timing worked out perfectly.

Thunder management reached out to Brett, a current OU student, through social media and invited him to the game.

“I was really blown away by it,” he said.

Brett's first call was to his mother. His next was to his grandfather, Mike, the father of Lance.

“He said he wanted to buy tickets and come, but I told him I planned on asking him already,” Brett said.

So there the two sat on Monday night, in a pair of seats three rows up from the court, watching the Thunder's thrilling 111-109 victory over the Hawks.

It served as a perfect example of what the Thunder want this annual night to represent. Two locals, both directly affected by the heartache of war, given a night to honor their father, their son and the others who serve this country.

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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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