Thunder roles

Corley snags NBA job after graduation

“The professors and instructors at OC helped me because they let me do it. Their approach of being hands off, yet being there, allowed me to really see for myself what it’s like and what I need to do to become successful.”

Oklahoma Christian University basketball fans may know Clinton Corley as one of the school’s best play-by-play announcers in recent years ... or as the sideline reporter for OC’s game telecasts on statewide cable.

Fans of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder may not know him, but they know his behind-the-scenes work for Thunder Broadcasting, where he serves as a video photographer and editor.

He traveled with the team during its 2012 run to the NBA Finals. When the Thunder clinched the Western Conference championship in front of a sellout home crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena, it was “a night I will never forget the rest of my life,” Clinton said.

Clinton graduated from OC in 2010 after making the most of his college career. He won awards working on air and behind the scenes for OC’s weekly newscast (which is now broadcast live statewide). He announced countless OC basketball games and helped produce the school’s game telecasts. He interned for a television station in his hometown of Topeka, Kansas.

Now, he edits Thunder highlight packages after every game, documents player visits to community events and handles various responsibilities at home games.

“The fun part of the job is just going out and doing a story, seeing the players up close and talking to them afterward,” Clinton said. “Being in the production truck during games to watch how what you see on TV is put together just amazes me.”

Clinton is one of four OC students who have worked with the Thunder. Luke Johns interned in the broadcast department and Courtney Britt and Amber Canady had marketing roles with the organization.

Clinton’s job allows him to rub elbows with NBA bigwigs and its biggest stars. He had a down-to-earth conversation with Dallas owner and famed billionaire Mark Cuban. And he gets up close to watch guys like Kobe, Lebron and the Thunder’s own Kevin Durant ... not to mention some of his broadcast heroes from ESPN, TNT and Fox Sports.

As he finishes his third year with one of the NBA’s elite organizations, Clinton is excited about the future. He once had on-air aspirations, but discovered his passion for producing when he got hands-on experience running the control room for OC basketball telecasts.

“The thing about producing for me is being able to put your thoughts and creativity to life. The professors and instructors at OC helped me because they let me do it. Learning from my mistakes and making it better was something they taught me,” Clinton said. “Their approach of being hands off, yet being there, allowed me to really see for myself what it’s like and what I need to do to become successful.”

By Wes McKinzie