Miami's Blue Alliance Chapter – the fan club of the Oklahoma City Thunder – was named the organization's chapter of the month.
Debra East is captain of the Miami chapter.
The group was recognized in the Thunder Insider, a blast e-mail that goes out to 87,000 Thunder fans.
East had been asked to be captain of a chapter in Grove, but when she found out that there already was a group there - and since she's a Miami native - she requested the one here.
"Being a sports town, forever, I knew Miami would become a vital part of the Blue Alliance," she said in an interview that was included in the team's latest Insider.
She got hooked on NBA basketball when the Hornets briefly relocated in Oklahoma City from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
"Before that, football was my sport," East said in the interview. "Growing up in Miami, the entire town was a football town, but it has changed. They LOVE the Thunder and so do I. It was a natural transition after the Hornets left and the Thunder came. We all needed a place to put out affection and they became the object, Of course, the way Kevin Durant conducts himself, especially the open respect he shows his mother, has melted this mom's heart."
The Miami chapter currently has 89 members, but East is planning on a membership drive.
"My personal goal is to grow the Miami chapter to have the largest membership in Oklahoma," she said in the interview. "I'm still working on the plans that will make that happen, but am confident in the outcome."
She's got two watch parties planned at the Kickoff Bar and Grill on March 16, when OKC hosts San Antonio, and April 4, when they tackle the Heat in the "other" Miami. Both will start at 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. Tip-off.
"There will be big screen TVs tuned to the Thunder game," East said. "There will be lots of other Thunder fans and Thunder door prizes should make these two events great fun."
She said attendees do not have to be a Blue Alliance member to participate.