TULSA, Okla., Feb. 6, 2023 – The Oklahoma City Thunder has added five Black college students to its Thunder Fellows program.
Class members are Mary Harris, Tulsa Community College sophomore; Lawrence King, Tulsa Community College sophomore; Nadia Mooreland, Langston University junior, Christian Ochei, Oral Roberts University freshman; and Maryam Suleiman, University of Tulsa junior.
“We are excited to launch our first college cohort,” said Cedric Ikpo, Thunder Fellows executive director. “This marks a major milestone in our program goals and efforts to create a high school to college to career pipeline for Black students in Tulsa. Having college students within the program allows us to actively build out an internship model that extends beyond the academic year.”
The semester-long college curriculum offers professional development and immersive experiences to prepare future changemakers for meaningful employment in their desired fields – including resume workshops, interview preparation, effective communication, and emotional intelligence. College-level students will also have an opportunity to participate in exclusive summer experiences within the Thunder organization and other program partners.
In addition to the new college cohort, the NBA Foundation recently announced that Thunder Fellows is one of 31 organizations to receive funding in its latest round of grants. The NBA Foundation is a non-profit organization that focuses on driving economic opportunity and empowerment in the Black community.
“We’re grateful for the ongoing support from the NBA Foundation,” Ikpo said. “Through partners like the Foundation, CAA, Google, University of Tulsa and so many others, we’ve been able to expand the curriculum and opportunities for our students.”
Founded by the Oklahoma City Thunder and CAA Sports, a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Thunder Fellows is designed to unlock new opportunities in sports, technology, and entertainment for Black students in the Tulsa area. The program has garnered support from other local and national organizations such as Google, Wilson Sporting Goods, Post Oak Automotive, HBO, NBA, PGA, Universal Music Group, Langston University, MIT, University of Tulsa, Roux Media, Tulsa Debate League, Code.org, and Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance.