Few professional sports teams have as strong a relationship with the surrounding community as the Oklahoma City Thunder. The city's lone professional sports team, the Thunder has earned Oklahoma City's love with its strong play on the court and its unique outreach in and outside Oklahoma City.
In just another example of the Thunder's stellar relationship with the local community, the team announced that it will be rebuilding three basketball courts that were ravaged by the May 20 tornado that tore through parts of Oklahoma.
Before the team played its Blue and White Scrimmage in Moore, Okla., a town hit hard by the tornado, it announced that it would rebuild the outdoor basketball courts at Briarwood Elementary, Plaza Towers Elementary and Highland East Junior High School.
"When the community lost these schools, they lost more than a place of learning for their children," Dan Mahoney, the team's vice president of corporate communications and community relations, told the Associated Press. "The school facilities, including the basketball courts, served as the heart of these neighborhoods, and we are pleased and proud to be a part of restoring these communities.
Immediately following the May 20 tornado, which killed at least 50 people and injured hundreds more, both Kevin Durant and the Thunder donated $1 million to the American Red Cross.
The Thunder wore special summer league uniforms honoring the tornado victims, and at the team's scrimmage over the weekend they had first responders serve as honorary captains.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) October 13, 2013
"We made the commitment from the day the storms began to hold nothing back in responding to these communities' needs," Mahoney said. "But we have also committed to be a part of the long-term rebuilding process."