Oklahoma City Thunder's Black History Heroes Challenge

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••• Photo: Glenn James / Getty Images

In Short:

Everyone knows about the on-court success of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Behind star Russell Westbrook, the team is a perennial playoff contender, and the Chesapeake Energy Arena is a full, raucous NBA destination each and every night. But the Thunder organization also contributes a tremendous amount to the community, from charity initiatives and scholarships to youth programs and contests.

One of the latter is the Black History Heroes Challenge, an annual contest for students to commemorate Black History Month. Now in its 9th year and sponsored by Sprite, the event challenges students to us their creativity in honoring an impactful African-American.

Here are all the details on the contest, including deadline dates and rules.

Who can participate?: The Black History Heroes Challenge is only for Oklahoma residents. Any state student in kindergarten through 12th grade is eligible, but each student is limited to one entry.

What do entrants submit?: The goal of the contest is to "portray an outstanding individual in black history or an impactful African-American" in the student's life. To do so, entrants can submit an essay, poem or piece of visual art such a painting, drawing, collage or diorama. Also accepted are photographs, music or videos.  For some examples, see the 2016 contest winners.

  Organizers encourage students to be creative.

How do I enter?: The first thing you need is an entry form.  Entries should be mailed to:

Oklahoma City Thunder Black History Heroes Challenge Presented by Sprite
Attn: Debbie Williams; OKC Thunder Community Relations
208 Thunder Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

What are the prizes?: Top entries will be selected and displayed in the Chesapeake Energy Arena's main concourse level on February 26th.

  For other prizes, there are five age groups:

  • Kindergarten and First grades
  • Second and Third grades
  • Fourth and Fifth grades
  • Sixth, Seventh and Eighth grades
  • Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth grades

Winners from each age group receive a "Thunder prize pack" that includes four tickets to the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, February 26th; recognition at center court before the game, an autographed Thunder item and Black History Heroes Challenge award plaque.  Winning entries are also displayed online at Thunder.NBA.com.

What are the submission deadlines?: The Thunder's Black History Heroes Challenge officially begins each year at 12:00 a.m. on January 1st.  For 2017, submissions must be postmarked by Saturday, February 11th.

Where can I get more information?: See Thunder.NBA.com for full contest rules.