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Thunder serves Thanksgiving dinner at City Rescue Mission

Oklahoma City Thunder players, coaches and staff members stopped by the City Rescue Mission on Tuesday to serve an early Thanksgiving dinner to homeless and near-homeless families and play basketball with local children.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL Modified: November 24, 2010 at 5:14 am •  Published: November 24, 2010

“You get to see a lot of people and show them some love. It's a nice thing to do.”

Tara's father, Tony Magana, 32, of Oklahoma City, said the players' willingness to help and obvious joy when dealing with children make him proud of his city.

Magana was joined by his 5-year-old son, Jayson.

“It makes a big difference to a lot of people,” Magana said.

“It means a lot that they care about us, and I know we care about them.”

The event might be the only Thanksgiving celebration the team gets in Oklahoma City.

The Thunder leaves Thursday for a game Friday in Indianapolis.

Reserve forward Nick Collison, the team's longest-tenured player, said the team may get together with the family of a staff member who is from Indiana.

But Collison, who said his typical role at Thanksgiving dinner is that of dishwasher, said Tuesday's dinner at the mission provides the same kind of fun they'd have at their own celebration at home.

“That's one of the really cool things about our job, that we get to help out people in the community,” he said.