Honoring their heroes

Each year, the Thunder and Sprite team up to encourage students to celebrate Black History Month by entering the Black History Heroes Challenge. This year, hundreds of students from around the state sent in essays, artwork, photography and multimedia projects highlighting the achievements of an outstanding individual in black history or an impactful African-American in their life.

Submissions were divided into five age groups and each one was carefully considered by members of the Thunder staff given the tough task of picking this year’s winners.  Last night, the Thunder recognized the winners in each of five age groups before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.




Kindergarten-First-grade Division:

First grader Elijah Alsup attends Dove Science Academy in Oklahoma City and submitted an essay and drawing of Lonnie George Johnson, the inventor of the Super Soaker water toy.

Elijah Alsup-Dove Science Academy-1st Grade


Second-Third-grade Division:

Second-grade student Alex Allford attends Ethel M. Reed Elementary in Holdenville and won the category with a letter to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Alex Allford-Ethel M Reed Elem-2nd Grade


Fourth-Fifth grade Division:

Adrian Soria, a fourth-grader who attends Buchanan Elementary in Oklahoma City, submitted an essay and a pencil sketch of Jackie Robinson.

Adrian Soria-Buchanan Elem-4th Grade


Middle School Division:

Dillard Bowie won with an essay in tribute to his grandfather; Mr. Cleo Baccus, Sr. The seventh-grader attends Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School in Oklahoma City.

Dillard Bowie-Belle Isle Middle School-7th Grade


High School Division:

Elexys Hearne, a freshman at Midwest City High School in Midwest City, took top honors with a diorama made out of Lego blocks featuring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Elexys Hearne-Midwest City HS-9th Grade


Congratulations to each of our winners and a very special thanks to those who participated in this year’s Black History Heroes Challenge.

- Amy Hill