OKLAHOMA CITY – The Thunder recognized five Oklahoma students as grand-prize winners of its sixth annual Thunder Black History Heroes Challenge, presented by Sprite.
The team named Elijah Alsup, Adrian Soria and Dillard Bowie of Oklahoma City, Alex Allford of Holdenville and Elexys Hearne of Midwest City as winners in their age categories from 300 entries submitted by students across Oklahoma.
Students who submitted entries honored heroes from black history or personal heroes through original artwork, poems, videos and crafts.
Each winner received a Thunder prize pack, including four tickets to watch the Thunder vs. Cleveland Cavaliers home game on Wednesday, recognition on-court prior to the game, a personalized trophy and a team autographed basketball. The winning entries, along with other select submissions, were displayed on the concourse during Wednesday’s game.
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 toy. Alsup won the kindergarten/first-grade division of the contest.
Second-grade student Alex Allford attends Ethel M. Reed Elementary in Holdenville and won the second/third-grade category with a letter to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The fourth/fifth-grade winner was Adrian Soria, a fourth-grader who attends Buchanan Elementary in Oklahoma City. Soria submitted an essay and pencil sketch of Jackie Robinson.
Dillard Bowie won the middle school category with an essay in tribute to his grandfather, Cleo Baccus Sr. The seventh-grader attends Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School in Oklahoma City.
Elexys Hearne, a high school freshman at Midwest City High School, took top honors for the high school category with a diorama made out of Lego blocks of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Other entries included posters, crafts, drawings, paintings and videos.