Born on September 29, 1988 in Suitland, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C., Kevin Wayne Durant is a high-profile professional basketball player. After playing college basketball for only one season at the University of Texas, Austin, he was chosen second overall in the first round of the 2007 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. Durant is a three-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA scoring champion. In 2017, he helped lead the Warriors to another NBA championship, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kevin Durant was born just outside of the nation's capital, in Suitland, Maryland, on September 29, 1988. As one of four children of Wanda and Wayne Pratt, Durant grew up loving sports with his sister, Brianna, and two brothers, Anthony (also a basketball player) and Rayvonne. His grandmother, Barbara, was a strong influence, telling him that his height was a blessing, even though schoolmates teased him for always being the tallest in class.
Durant's success started with the PG Jaguars, an Amateur Athletic Union youth basketball team in Prince George's County, Maryland. The team won two national championships during Durant's tenure. To this day, Durant wears a No. 35 jersey in honor of Charles Craig, his AAU coach and childhood mentor, who died at the age of 35.
During high school, Durant grew seven inches, to his current height of 6'9". During that time, he played for the National Christian Academy and Montrose Christian School, both in Maryland, and for basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, located in Virginia. After his senior year, he was named to Parade magazine's "First Team" list, and to USA Today's "First Team All-American" list, capturing attention from major college basketball recruiters nationwide.
Durant received offers from top Division I colleges, and although prompted by his friend, point guard Tywon Lawson, to join him and play with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, Durant signed with the University of Texas Longhorns in Austin. Russell Springman, a Longhorn assistant and Maryland native, had been in touch with Durant since his freshman year of high school.
As a Longhorn, Durant started in every game during his freshman year of college, averaging 25.8 points per game (first in the Big 12, fourth in the nation) and 11 rebounds per game in 35 games. He scored 20-plus points 30 times, and put up 30-plus points 11 times. He was named the Big 12 Tournament's Most Valuable Player after hitting a tournament record of 92 points and leading the Longhorns to the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Men's Basketball Championship, where they lost to the University of Southern California.
As a freshman, Durant received the Oscar Robertson and the Adolph F. Rupp awards, and was the first freshman to win both honors.
After just one year of college basketball, Durant declared himself eligible for the 2007 NBA Draft. In June of that year, he was chosen second overall in the first round by the Seattle SuperSonics. Around that same time, Durant signed a $60 million, seven-year endorsement deal with Nike, a major deal at the time, exceeded only by LeBron James's Nike contract.
In his rookie season, Durant was selected as a member of the NBA's All-Rookie First Team and was named the NBA's "Rookie of the Year." After the 2007-08 season, the Seattle SuperSonics relocated the organization from Seattle, Washington to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, becoming the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant continues to thrive with the franchise, having been named an NBA All-Star three times (2010-12) and to the All-NBA First Team three times (2010-12). He also led the league three times as NBA scoring champion (2010-12), becoming only the eighth player in NBA history to do so.
Durant has also played internationally, and was named 2010 FIBA World Championship MVP by the International Basketball Federation. Additionally, he was chosen to play with the 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball team. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the U.S. basketball team took home the gold medal.
On July 4, 2016, Durant made big waves in the NBA when he announced that he had agreed to sign with the Golden State Warriors. "The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction," Durant wrote in a post on The Players' Tribune. "But I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth."
The move proved to be a winning decision for Durant. In 2017, he helped lead the Warriors to the NBA finals, facing off again against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In game five, Kevin Durant scored 39 points in a 129-120 victory, the Warriors second NBA championship in two years. Durant averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists throughout the series and was named finals MVP for his stellar performance. "I knew at some point in my life it would come together for me. I just had to keep grinding," Durant told the New York Daily News. "I’m at a loss for words."
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