Wilkins looking to make noise for Thunder

Published 7:20 am Thursday, October 30, 2008

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
A new city has provided a new spark for Damien Wilkins.
The Washington native, who played his first four NBA seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics, and the Oklahoma City Thunder tipped off the 2008-09 season Wednesday evening at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. Wilkins, who made the trip with his teammates to Oklahoma City when the team relocated this summer, was anxious to get started.
The 6-6, 225-pound guard/forward is coming off a career year. Wilkins averaged 9.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.8 steals per game last year.
He’s looking for even more this year with the Thunder. While not mentioning any numbers, Wilkins said he wants to be steady all season.
While he’s always been a hard worker, Wilkins said he stepped up his practice routine this summer.
Wilkins, who played college ball at N.C. State and Georgia, believes that his hard work paid off during preseason games.
While the Thunder went just 1-6 in the preseason, Wilkins said playing those games was more about wins and losses.
Wilkins, the son of former NBA standout Gerald Wilkins and the nephew of Hall-of-Famer and former Washington Pam Pack star Dominique Wilkins, was happy with how he played in the preseason.
Though relocating to another city could have been difficult, Wilkins said he had an easy time.
Wilkins said the help and support from the community and fan base have made it a smooth transition.
After wearing green and gold for the first four years of his NBA career, Wilkins said he’s already gotten used to the sky blue, orange and yellow jerseys of the Thunder.
Wilkins, who is averaging 8.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.9 steals per game in his career, wants to have a big season, both in producing and in leading his team.
Wilkins and the Thunder return to the court Saturday in Houston. The Thunder will play at the Charlotte Bobcats on Dec. 3.