Fer­gu­son spon­sors shop­ping spree for fam­ily of 10

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS -

Genevive Miller, 3, pulled a box of Ham­burger Helper off the bot­tom shelf.

“You like that?” said Thun­der guard Ter­rance Fer­gu­son, who tow­ered above her wear­ing a blue Santa hat and Hol­i­day As­sist T-shirt.

She nod­ded.

“Let her fill that up,” he said, push­ing one of four shop­ping carts he and the Miller fam­ily filled Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon.

It was the sec­ond of four such gro­cery shop­ping sprees the Thun­der has sched­uled for this sea­son.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion pairs up one fam­ily and one player for each. Af­ter be­com­ing a fa­ther a week and a half ago, Fer­gu­son spon­sored a fam­ily with eight chil­dren, rang­ing from 16 years to four months old, to go on a mas­sive Home­land shop­ping trip.

“As soon as I came in and I saw the lit­tle baby it just brought back my lit­tle girl in­side my head,” Fer­gu­son said. “It’s al­ways a good thing to give back, and I want my daugh­ter to grow up see­ing me do this and hope­fully she has the op­por­tu­nity to do the same thing when she grows up.”

Big men can as­sist too

When list­ing the Thun­der’s fa­cil­i­ta­tors, Steven Adams’ name won’t pop up first. Rus­sell West­brook, Paul Ge­orge and Den­nis Schroder nat­u­rally come to mind be­fore the OKC cen­ter.

And yet Adams recorded three as­sists in a 124-109 win over the Hawks on Fri­day, log­ging at least that to­tal for the third time in the Thun­der’s past eight games.

The Thun­der doesn’t set goals for the num­ber of times they get a player the ball or types of shots the team takes, coach Billy Dono­van said Fri­day be­fore the game. He thinks that ham­strings play­ers’ abil­ity to read the game. But the Thun­der does track the num­ber of times it touches the paint.

“That’s im­por­tant be­cause when you get to the paint, a lot of good things hap­pen,” Dono­van said. “You get fouled, you get to the rim for eas­ier shots, you get of­fen­sive re­bounds, you can kick out 3s.”

That goes for play­ers such as West­brook, Ge­orge and Schroder as they’re driv­ing to the bas­ket. But it also ap­plies to Adams.

In the sec­ond quar­ter of Fri­day’s game, Adams called for the ball as he stepped past the free-throw line. In­stead of tak­ing a drib­ble and fin­ish­ing at the rim, he im­me­di­ately turned and tossed a pass to Ge­orge on the perime­ter. The small for­ward had just drained back-to-back 3-point at­tempts, and off Adams’ as­sist, he splashed his third in less than three min­utes.

[PHOTO BY SARAH PHIPPS, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

Thun­der guard Ter­rance Fer­gu­son holds a goat dis­play for soap as he shops with the Miller fam­ily on Sat­ur­day as part of the Hol­i­day As­sist pro­gram at Home­land in Ok­la­homa City.

Mad­die Lee [email protected] ok­la­homan.com

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