Program Overview

To address the prevalent opportunity and racial wealth gaps in our community, the Thunder Fellows Program – developed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Creative Arts Agency (CAA) – aims to unlock new opportunities in sports, entertainment, and technology for Black high school and college students in the Tulsa area.

Located in the historic Greenwood District, Thunder Fellows will apply data & analytics curriculum uniquely tailored to industries’ standards to gain proficiency in essential skillsets and hands-on experiences highly sought after by recruiters and talent acquisition teams. The 30-week program will also leverage a strategic pipeline of local & national corporations to provide exclusive access to mentors, professional coaching, and meaningful employment opportunities.

Seeds of Greenwood

OKCThunder Films presents Seeds of Greenwood, a story following the inaugural class of Thunder Fellows.


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High-level student outcomes include:


Gaining deep understanding of high demand technical job functions and life skills


Strengthening problem solving & critical thinking skills

Programming Proficiencies

Demonstrating competency with in-demand coding languages

Mentorship Opportunities

Receiving professional coaching from industry leaders nationwide


Growing personal and professional network

Key Dates

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    Applications due

    Thunder Fellows applications & recommendations due for fall program

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    Selection Process

    Student selection process with review committee.

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    Student & Parent orientation

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    Program Launch

    Program Launch (30-weeks)

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    Capstone Project

    Students submit projects and deliver end-of-year program presentations

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    Summer Workshops & Continuing Education

Our Team


Cedric Ikpo

Executive Director, Thunder Fellows
P: 918.922.7091

Ikpo brings more than a decade of experience working in corporate social responsibility in professional sports. He comes to the Thunder Fellows Program from the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he worked on numerous corporate social responsibility initiatives, collaborating across NBA, WNBA and G League team markets.


Ricky Graham

Operations Specialist, Thunder Fellows
P: 918.922.7094

Graham spent several years facilitating peer-to-peer programming between college students and inner-city youth while at Sports Crusaders. He also led a team in assembling school buses for students across the country at Navistar International.


David Howard

Shuttle Driver, Thunder Fellows


Jalen Rideaux

Associate, Thunder Fellows

Meet the 2023-24 Cohort



Meet the 2023-24 College Cohort II



Thunder Fellows Advisory Board

The Thunder Fellows Advisory Board helps shape the direction of Thunder Fellows and support its mission through community outreach, programming, strategic planning, and resource development.


Malachi Blankenship

Innovation to Enterprise (i2E)
Venture Advisor & Director of Business Development


Brian Byrnes

OKC Thunder
Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing


DeAnn Cooks

KIPP College Prep
Director, KIPP Forward


Dr. Tiffany Crutcher

Terence Crutcher Foundation
Founder & Executive Director


Mike Johnson

Creative Arts Agency
Head of Content & Digital Strategy, Brand Consulting


Paul Johnson

Bank of Oklahoma
Senior Vice President, Corporate Banking


Brandon Oldham

George Kaiser Family Foundation
Program Officer


Sam Presti

OKC Thunder
Executive Vice President & General Manager, Basketball Operations


Leonelle Thompson

Williams Energy
Supervisor, Early Career Learning & Development


Devon Energy
Post Oak Automotive
Oklahoma City Thunder