With every professional contract comes a world of opportunities, but how an athlete spends their millions is strictly their business. Some buy jewelry. Others invest in various companies. A few more give back to their hometown community. Go ahead and add Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant to the list of wanting to make a big difference.
On the night before the defending NBA champions faced the Washington Wizards, the 6-foot-9 superstar returned to the Suitland, Maryland neighborhood he grew up in to see his passion project come to life. It was like a dream come true in his hometown of Prince George’s County.
In his first trip in almost a year, according to the Washington Post, the nine-time NBA All-Star and 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player got the first look at College Track at the Durant Center and was on hand for the grand opening of the after-school facility that will help low-income and underserved students get to and graduate college.
Special doesn’t even begin to describe this. It’s one thing to help give back. It’s another to open and have your name on the outside of a game-changing facility basically across the street from where you grew up.
“The full circle stuff that you dream about,” Durant told The Washington Post. “So many people that meant so much to me at that time, and to see my name on the building… Hopefully that inspires kids in the area.”
Earlier this season, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron Jones opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. He wanted to show he was more than a superstar basketball player. Durant, who signed to play with the Warriors in Oakland before the 2016-17 NBA season, has done the same and pledged $10 million to the program’s first decade.
The after-school program and facility that bears his name will provide college scholarships, tutoring, and both emotional and financial support to local students in the Suitland neighborhood.
Additionally, Durant and his foundation have also donated $60,000 for new basketball courts at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center.
Everything truly did come full circle for Durant on Wednesday night when he introduced The Durant Center’s inaugural class of 69 students at the new facility near Washington D.C., and it’s simply amazing.