Kid’s petition draws national attention.

Durant won’t be changing name

By Dan Pennington -

City of Durant employees jokingly replaced Durant with the word “Westbrook” on the City’s Facebook page.

Durant is getting national attention by nearly all the networks, magazines and many websites.

It’s not for something like the last time the city received attention, when the President visited.

The world is confused because of a 16-year-old basketball fan’s petition to change Durant to Westbrook.

Some news outlet stories seem to actually think a name change could happen or that the city wants it to happen.

It started as a joke but it’s grown legs and is traveling the national news circuit.

ESPN TV Network, The Washington Post newspaper and even Sports Illustrated is carrying the story.

Oklahoma City TV news stations feature the story on their web pages.

A young Oklahoma City Thunder fan, upset with Kevin Durant’s leaving the team for more money, started the whole thing rolling.

His petition is asking Governor Mary Fallin to rename Durant, Oklahoma, “Westbrook, Oklahoma,” after Thunder player Kevin Westbrook who stayed with the team.

He thinks Westbrook’s loyalty makes the name change needed.

The city cannot be legally renamed by Fallin even if she chose to honor the spoof petition. “It just isn’t possible,” said one city official.

Many may remember when singing cowboy Gene Autry had a town in Oklahoma change their name to “Gene Autry, Oklahoma.”

Vice Mayor Destry Hawthorne was interviewed by a local TV news reporter seeming to play along with joke, all in fun. It was just a joke.

Headlines across the country say Thunder fans want the name change, the city wants the name change.

Each news outlet has their own take on the spoof.

Some residents of Durant don’t like the whole matter or attention drawn to Durant because of it. Some residents are outright angry with all the publicity about the name change.

They say it makes fun of the city and it’s people. Everyone who’s against it, has their own take on why.

Other citizens say, “Relax, it’s just a joke!”

Either opinion, it’s a great break from the Trump/Clinton election feud that takes place daily, some say.

No matter how many signatures are gathered on the petition, it won’t happen, the name change that is.

Durant, Oklahoma, has been named Durant for French/Choctaw founder Dixon DuRant for over 100 years.

Mayor Stewart Hoffman said about the whole name change thing, “I think it’s good. It’s good to get Durant on the map. The last time we were in the national news was when the President came a year or so ago. It puts the city on the map. The city staff and city council are all really proud of Durant. To play along with the joke, it gives us the ability to laugh and have a little light heartiness about the whole thing.”

Durant will be named Durant, Oklahoma, another 100 years no matter what happens with the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team or Kevin Durant, people say.

Two-thousand signatures and growing, the petition to make Durant become Westbrook won’t happen.

Contact Dan Pennington at (580) 634-2162 or

City of Durant employees jokingly replaced Durant with the word “Westbrook” on the City’s Facebook page. of Durant employees jokingly replaced Durant with the word “Westbrook” on the City’s Facebook page.
Durant won’t be changing name

By Dan Pennington

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