Oklahoma has a number of different logos and symbols that represent its citizens. Thunder basketball has rapidly grown into a trademark of sorts for Oklahoma City–really, the state for that matter–and one image that basketball fans everywhere associate with the Thunder is the Oklahoma state animal, the bison.

On the 17th of February, halfway through the Thunder’s inaugural season, Rumble the Bison was introduced at halftime as Oklahoma City’s official mascot. Rumble’s story is actually part of a centuries-old Native American tale which says that he was once involved in a terrible Oklahoma storm where he was struck by lightning while helping other fellow bison, and in the process, he was transformed into the Rumble we all know and love today. You can read the full story here or watch the video above.

After the completion of the Thunder’s first season, Rumble received the NBA Mascot of the Year award, even though he had only been involved for half a season. Rumble is known throughout Oklahoma City mostly due to his fan-friendly behavior, as he is constantly involved in different outreach events around the state. While at games, Rumble roams around the arena getting fans pumped up for the game, cheering with the Thunder Girls, and interacting with anyone and everyone who wants to stop for a picture, high-five, or hug.

Oklahoma City is more than just the capital of our great state; it’s a community that has banded together and stuck through a lot of difficulty. The Thunder are more than just a basketball team; they are a representation for what our great city stands, and Rumble is a great ambassador as he embodies the Thunder organization and the city of Oklahoma city.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on twitter.