Fourteen years after the Oklahoma Storm blew out of Enid, there’s a new basketball sheriff in town, and they’re called the Outlaws.
“I always wanted to bring something back to Oklahoma to help develop the unseen talent, some of the guys that fell in between the cracks," said Jonathan Reed, Outlaws owner and president.
So, the Oklahoma native and former pro player brought the Outlaws to Enid, playing their first season in The Basketball League.
“You’ll see some good basketball. This is the third tier from the NBA, the G-League, and then it’s us. So these guys, they’re very hungry they’re trying to get to the NBA," said Outlaws head coach Ed Corporal.
News 9 caught up with the Outlaws at their practice facility in El Reno.
The team features plenty of grassroots hoops talent.
“It’s been over a year since I played a basketball game. For an opportunity to play over the summer close to home, I think this is a great opportunity for me," said former OSU standout Lindy Waters III.
“People in the community seeing my story, and being like, 'Hey, I know where he’s from, I see him growing up, I watched him play growing up, I can do this too.'” Wayne Runnels, a Watonga native and former NOC Enid Jet and Creighton Bluejay said. “I think that will give a lot of youth inspiration for sure.”
The league is about more than just basketball. It's a holistic hoops experience that focuses on financial literacy, physical and mental health, as well as community engagement.
“Not everybody’s fortunate to make a team like this or any team, and when you get that opportunity, it’s always great to help and to give back to the community," said Kevin Young, who played at KU from 2011-2013.
“It has to be more than hoops, because life is like that, and I think sometimes in professional basketball, we forget that and we just get so wrapped up in the business side of it, that we forget that these are people," Reed said.
The Outlaws have started the season 2-0. Their home opener is Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Stride Bank Center in Enid, and tickets are available.