06/10/2012 03:38 EDT | Updated 08/10/2012 05:12 EDT

Barkley's visit to Oklahoma City bombing memorial, museum hailed by officials

OKLAHOMA CITY - The executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum says a recent visit by NBA sportscaster Charles Barkley provided invaluable exposure.

Barkley spent more than an hour at the site where 168 people were killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. He later spent several minutes talking about the museum during the nationally televised Western Conference finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs.

Museum director Kari Watkins told The Oklahoman ( ) that the airtime is estimated to be worth about US$270,000. She says the museum's annual advertising budget is about $150,000.

Barkley also donated an autographed pair of lizard-skin boots that bear the Thunder logos and were given to him by the team.

The boots are now on display inside the museum front doors.


Information from: The Oklahoman,