Jenni Carlson

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Thunder: Mama Durant makes her return

by Jenni Carlson Modified: April 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm •  Published: April 9, 2013
Wanda Pratt, the mother of Thunder star Kevin Durant, returned to her court-side seats last Sunday when the Thunder played the New York Knicks. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman.
Wanda Pratt, the mother of Thunder star Kevin Durant, returned to her court-side seats last Sunday when the Thunder played the New York Knicks. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman.

Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt (shown here at the NBA Western Conference Finals last June) returned to her court-side seats last Sunday when the Thunder played the New York Knicks. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman.

Throughout this Thunder season, there’s been one question that’s come up time and again.

Where’s Wanda?

Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, became a courtside fixture last season. If there was a game at The Peake, you could expect to see her in her front-row seats across from the Thunder bench. You could also expect to see her standing and cheering and occasionally dancing. Watching her was almost as entertaining as watching her super-talented son.

But this season, we haven’t seen much of Pratt. We heard through the grapevine that she was at the Christmas Day game in Miami, but near as anyone could tell, she hadn’t been to any games in Oklahoma City.

That changed Sunday.

Joined by her mother, Pratt walked down the sideline and took her seat only moments before tipoff against the Knicks, and of course, she stood and cheered and even danced a little during the game.

It was good to see her back.

I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

“It’s always good to have Mom and Grandma there to support me,” Durant said after the game. “Happy they’re here, and they’ll be back for the playoffs.”

Lots of folks will be happy to hear that. Here in the sports department, we’ve gotten calls and emails regularly from Thunder fans wondering where Pratt has been this season. They missed seeing her. They worried about her. Frankly, they have been constantly reminder about her because of that NBA commercial featuring her standing and cheering in slow-mo with KD’s voiceover talking about their relationship. She was on the ad cheering but wasn’t at The Peake, and plenty of folks wondered why.

Honestly, her attendance has been such a regular question that we should’ve written something for the Monday paper. We dropped the ball on that.

After postgame interviews Sunday, I walked over to Pratt and told her that things just hadn’t looked right this season without her sitting there.

“Welcome back,” I said.

“Thank you,” she said, as gracious as ever.

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by 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...
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