Thunder Continue to Help Moore Tornado Victims, Will Rebuild Basketball Courts

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterOctober 14, 2013

MANCHESTER, GREAT BRITAIN - OCTOBER 8:  Kevin Durant #35 the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates a shot of against the Philadelphia 76ers during the game at the NBA Global Games in the Phones 4u Arena on October 8, 2013  in Manchester, Great Britain. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Oklahoma City Thunder are doing more than lifting spirits this preseason, because they are lending a hand to the residents affected by the Moore tornado, promising to build three new basketball courts for the area. 

Next Imuplse Sports' Paul Sacca reports the NBA team will rebuild damaged basketball courts at three schools touched by the May 20 tornado that barreled through Moore, Okla. 

Via the report, here is a statement from Dan Mahoney, the team's vice president of corporate communications and community relations. 

When the community lost these schools, they lost more than a place of learning for their children. 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. We made the commitment from the day the storms began to hold nothing back in responding to these communities’ needs. But we have also committed to be a part of the long-term rebuilding process.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - OCTOBER 5: Oklahoma City Thunder fans get autographs from Derek Fisher of the Oklahoma City Thunder before his team's game against the Fenerbahce Ulker as part of the NBA Global Games on October 5, 2013 at the Ulker Sports Arena in Ista
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

It's been nearly five months since an EF5 tornado ripped through the town, devastating houses and uprooting schools. 

The entire community continues to heal and rebuild, including the NBA team that provides a respite anytime they take the court during the season. 

As News 9 Oklahoma reports, they are lending a far more literal help to Oklahoma residents. The team held its annual scrimmage on Sunday. And instead of engaging a bevy of fans at Chesapeake Energy Arena, they opted for something far cozier. 

The report states the scrimmage was held at Westmoore High School—a more quaint location that may lack the seating of a massive arena but was no doubt teeming with goodwill. 

It's also the location the team decided to make its fantastic announcement. The Thunder will build a new basketball facility for the Moore School District, and they will also rebuild damaged courts at Briarwood Elementary, Plaza Towers Elementary, and Highlands East Junior High.

The entire effort is in conjunction with the Thunder Cares Foundation—the same foundation that teamed up to donate $1 million to aid victims of the tornado back in May. 

The organization fortunately realizes it's far more than just a collection of star athletes playing basketball. It is an extension of the community, and one that is willing to help those who absolutely need it at the moment. 

Thanks to the Thunder, there will soon be a wealth of kids playing basketball again at these schools, smiling, laughing and continuing to move past a harrowing moment in their lives. 


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