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Thread: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

  1. #1

    Default Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    Thoughts? Opinions?

    Clay Bennett named Oklahoman of the Year by magazine

    BY JULIE BISBEE
    Published: December 17, 2008

    The chairman of Oklahoma City Thunder has been named the 2008 Oklahoman of the Year by Oklahoma Today magazine.

    Clay Bennett, founder of the private investment firm Dorchester Capital, is credited with helping bring an NBA team to Oklahoma City. Bennett was one of eight investors from Oklahoma City who formed Professional Basketball Club LLC, which was instrumental in relocating the NBA team from Seattle to Oklahoma City.

    The Thunder played its first regular season game in Oklahoma City on Oct. 29.

    "No one came close to Clay Bennett as we set about selecting this year’s Oklahoman of the Year,” said Louisa McCune-Elmore, Oklahoma Today editor-in-chief.

    "His accomplishment presents an extraordinary moment in the life of Oklahoma, probably among the most important achievements in our capital city’s history,” said McCune-Elmore.

    The magazine’s cover story features an in-depth profile of Bennett in "Thunder Roll,” written by Steffie Corcoran. The article chronicles Bennett’s life and the events that led up to the relocation of the team.

    "The year 2008 was an eventful year in Oklahoma, but nothing seemed as potentially transformative as the birth of the Thunder franchise in Oklahoma City,” said Oklahoma Today publisher Joan Henderson.

    The January/February issue of the magazine has been sent to subscribers and will hit newsstands regionally on Jan. 2.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    Full press release below:


    CLAYTON I. BENNETT NAMED

    2008 OKLAHOMAN OF THE YEAR


    OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Today, the magazine of Oklahoma since 1956, has named chairman of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Clayton I. Bennett, Oklahoman of the Year for 2008. The feature story on Bennett, written by senior editor Steffie Corcoran, appears in the January/February 2009 issue.

    Bennett, founder of the private investment firm, Dorchester Capital, is touted as the man who brought the NBA to Oklahoma. He leads a group of eight investors, all from Oklahoma City, who form Professional Basketball Club, LLC. The team played its first Oklahoma City game on October 29, 2008, after relocating from Seattle. Today, the team plays at the Ford Center in downtown Oklahoma City and is considered one of the youngest team in the NBA.




    “No one came close to Clay Bennett as we set about selecting this year’s Oklahoman of the Year,” says Louisa McCune-Elmore, Oklahoma Today editor in chief. “His accomplishment presents an extraordinary moment in the life of Oklahoma, probably among the most important achievements in our capital city’s history.”




    Those who know him best describe Bennett as a man of action. “People respect Clay,” says former Oklahoma City mayor Ron Norick. “When Clay is involved, things are going to happen.” Bennett grew up in Oklahoma City, graduated from Casady School in 1978, and married his high-school sweetheart, Louise Gaylord, in 1981.

    Bennett’s respect for hard work and his civic involvement have garnered this Oklahoman of the Year great regard from his peers, both locally and in the wider community of the NBA. “I feel confident about the good hands the [Thunder] is in,” says NBA commissioner David Stern, “because they’re in Clay’s hands and in the hands of his investor group.”

    The NBA may be happy about the team’s move to Oklahoma, but no one is as thrilled as Oklahomans. The NBA is considered the largest global sports brand. “An NBA franchise is an obvious economic boom, but just as important is what it does for the momentum and morale of Oklahoma,” says Governor Brad Henry.

    “What I like most about this article and accompanying photos is its thorough review of the Thunder relocation, but also its insights into Clay’s unwavering commitment to his hometown, state, and especially his family,” says Hardy Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. “It’s a real portrait.”

    Oklahoma Today publisher Joan Henderson says, “The year 2008 was an eventful year in Oklahoma, but nothing seemed as potentially transformative as the birth of the Thunder franchise in Oklahoma City.”

    “Clay Bennett had the resourcefulness, tenacity, and acumen to make that dream a reality,” says Governor Henry.

    Subscribers begin receiving the issue today. The issue will hit newsstands regionally on January 2. Please contact Louisa McCune-Elmore at (405) 306-5939 for more information.

  3. Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    I can't argue with the choice. The only other person that came to mind was David Cook.

  4. Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    Thanks to Clay Bennett for the great Christmas present! The best ever!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    I agree wholeheartedly with the selection of Clay Bennett as oklahoman of the year. He along with the other investors made the financial and emotional committment to the city and state to elevate our profile via pro basketball. I believe this is one of the more significant accomplishments given the relative obscurity of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City in the realm of professional sports

  6. #6

    Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    I surely agree with it. Besides the investment and all of the hard work, Clay took an undeserved, drawn-out, very public beating in Seattle and nationally. He definitely went to the mat for OKC and for the state.

  7. Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    I just wish OKC would stop taking a beating from the national media. Now we know Oklahoma with a pro team can make America blush.
    Continue the Renaissance!!!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    It's refreshing and encouraging to see these comments after reading some of the ridiculous things being said on deadspin and elsewhere.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    I surely agree with it. Besides the investment and all of the hard work, Clay took an undeserved, drawn-out, very public beating in Seattle and nationally. He definitely went to the mat for OKC and for the state.
    Sums it up for me as well...Bennett and crew could have made more money in the long run in Seattle

  10. #10

    Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    I have been appreciative of his efforts since the Hornets first came here, and have no reason to change my mind. Having an NBA team here is nothing short of amazing, regardless of our record.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    It will be even more amazing with a bunch of money under the salary cap in a great free agent year AND a high lottery pick. Hopefully Sam Presti will be Oklahoman of the year 2009.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    My Oklahoma person of the year is the speculative oil/nat gas trader who helped run up the prices. Oklahoma's budget would be as bad as California's without him/her!

    Long live the 2 win NBA squad! only up from here! Thanks Bennett!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    Quote Originally Posted by blangtang View Post
    My Oklahoma person of the year is the speculative oil/nat gas trader who helped run up the prices. Oklahoma's budget would be as bad as California's without him/her!

    Long live the 2 win NBA squad! only up from here! Thanks Bennett!
    Make that a 3 win NBA squad.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Clay Bennett, 2008 Oklahoman of the Year

    4 win now right?

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