TULSA—Twenty-six Tulsa ninth and 10th grade students have been selected as fellows in The Thunder’s inaugural class in an after-school program.
Thunder Fellows staff-members dropped in on the selected students from 11 schools to deliver balloons, Thunder swag and the news that they had been selected for this year’s class.
“The students were overwhelmed and excited,” said Cedric Ikpo, Thunder Fellows executive director.
“It was a true reminder of why we embarked on this journey in the first place.”
The 26 fellows include Chameka Anderson, Preiyah Barnes Frazier, Jace Gafney and Rhyian Mayberry, all from Booker T. Washington High School.
Bryson Fortenberry from Central High School was among those selected.
Students from Crossover Preparatory Academy selected as fellows are Quincy Brown, Reece Robinson and Marvion Weeks.
Siyannah Hadley from Dove Academy was selected, too.
Damarion Bull, Darion Clark, Harmonee Hoskins, and Reon McKnight, all from East Central High School, were selected as fellows, as well.
Luke Savage from Edison Preparatory High School, and Jaya Tarver from Holland Hall, are additional selected fellows.
Andre Hawthorne, Christopher Hawthorne, Malachi Jones, Marvenous Moore and MaKaria Wilson, all from KIPP Tulsa University Prep, are also Thunder Fellows.
Nyia Green from Muskogee High School; Nzinga Collins, Aniyah Gaines and Keyon’Dre Penny, all from Rogers High School, are all members of the inaugural class of Thunder Fellows.
Daniel Ekhoff from Tulsa School of Arts & Sciences; and San’Ya Hall from Union High School, are additional Thunder Fellows.
Founded by the Oklahoma City Thunder and CAA Sports, a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency, Thunder Fellows is designed to unlock new opportunities in sports, technology and entertainment for Black students in the Tulsa area, a statement said.
In addition, other local and national organizations have joined the effort – including Google, Wilson Sporting Goods, Post Oak Automotive, HBO, NBA, the Universal Music Group, Langston University, the University of Tulsa, MIT RAISE, Roux Media, the Tulsa Debate League, Code.org, and the Tulsa Regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Alliance.
During the 30-week program, students will get an in-depth look at a variety of disciplines within Thunder basketball and business operations.
Fellows will work on interactive, real-world projects and receive professional coaching from industry leaders nationwide.
Mr. Ikpo said that, initially, 20 spots were slated for the first class of fellows.
“However, the kids were so impressive and committed, the Thunder Fellows selection team decided to open an additional six slots,” he pointed out.
“There is no ceiling to their potential,” Mr. Ikpo continued. “Each Fellow is investing in themselves by committing to sustained development.
“They’re already history makers in our book and we’re excited to welcome them to our inaugural class.”