Kevin Durant

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Kevin Durant's return home came with starry and crumbling news, along with another Warriors win

Kevin Durant's return home came with starry and crumbling news, along with another Warriors win

CAPITAL ONE ARENA -- Kevin Durant found out part of his past came crumbling down.

Hordes of reporters and cameras awaited Durant, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors’ other superstars outside the visiting locker room following Thursday’s 126-118 over the pesky Washington Wizards. They had questions, about the team’s ninth consecutive win and Durant becoming a 10-time All-Star hours earlier.

Friends and family attended the Suitland native’s lone regular-season appearance in his hometown. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco’s congressional representative and a rather important person on planet earth, stood by with her entourage to greet some of her most famous constituents.

They would wait. Durant, one of three Warriors with local connections, needed details on the place where he first garnered national attention.

Wearing a black t-shirt from soul singer Tina Turner’s 1993 “What’s Love” tour, the 6-foot-11 scoring machine stood inside a near-empty locker room. Media members were told Golden State’s main players would speak in front of a team-logoed backdrop in the hall. Having jostled for prime position, none budged, leaving ample space for Durant to chat peacefully.

One of the locker room attendants filled KD in on his alma mater. Montrose Christian, once a national prep basketball power in this century's first decade, no longer existed. 

Durant knew the school closed. His eyes grew wide when he learned the latest. The tiny non-descript campus steps from bustling Rockville Pike, which once served as proving grounds for future NBA players including Durant, Greivis Vasquez, and Terrance Ross, was mere rubble. 

Irony popped with this tear-down revelation. His trip home included the official opening of a new building, The Durant Center, an educational center in his native Prince George’s County. 

The high school wreckage disclosure also came after Golden State finally broke down the Wizards for its ninth consecutive win, the longest streak in the NBA this season.

“It feels good. Every win in the NBA is tough, it’s hard to win in the NBA, so we’re not going to take it for granted,” Durant said after scoring 21 points. “But we are striving for perfection every night, and I think tonight was a step in the right direction. We have played in spurts, but we can do better.”

Few players in the league perform at a higher level than the two-time Finals MVP. Fate landed him in Washington when the NBA announced he and Curry were selected starters for the 2019 All-Star game in Charlotte next month.

“I appreciate all the votes and people that recognize my game and the rest of the All-Stars. It’s a joy that we share the court with players you respect and admire, and compete against every night,” Durant said.

Like Durant, Warriors guard Quinn Cook grew up in PG County. This game means plenty to a kid who grew up rooting for the Wizards. 

Cook's happy return home suffered a horrific twist before the reunion started. 

Cook took advantage of every opportunity in his youth to attend Wizards home games. He was one of those kids clamoring for player autographs. Alongside DeMatha teammate and current Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo, Cook honed his game hoping to reach the show. Now he’s the one the next generation seeks out with pen and paper. 

Undrafted after a standout four-year career at Duke, Cook bounced around looking for a professional home before latching on with Golden State for the 2017-18 season, the same year Durant arrived. Though he did not play Thursday, the 6-foot-2 guard has turned into a helpful piece off the bench for a Golden State team looking to win a third title in three years.

“Puts things into perspective of how far you came on your journey,” Cook said pre-game of his return home. “You see all the people that helped you get to where you are.  It’s humbling. Gives you a little more motivation when you leave because you know what you’re doing it for.”

This visit came with fresh pain.

Around the same time Cook attended the opening of The Durant Center Wednesday night, Oladipo suffered a brutal season-ending knee injury.

“I was messed up,” Cook said upon learning of Oladipo’s fate. “My girl told me about, and I saw it. I talked to [Victor] last night. He’s in good spirits. That’s part of the game. You never want to see somebody go down like that. If anybody could come back from that, he could.”

Former Georgetown standout Marcus Derrickson rounded out Golden State’s local contingent. The power forward on a two-way contract chatted with reporters before the game about his rookie season and the current happenings with the Hoyas. 

Such reunions provide nostalgia, perspective, and news. Durant, Cook, and Derrickson received healthy doses of each on Golden State’s dime. 

Durant put up plenty of his money -- $10 million – toward helping students with needed academic, financial, and social-emotional resources to achieve their college and career goals.

“It feels good doing something that impacts where you came from,” Durant said. “I’m sure everybody probably feels the same way about their community.”

Communities change, buildings rise and fall. Durant experienced both in one trip back home along with another team win. The game, No. 48 on the season, was worth the wait.


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Prince George’s County native Kevin Durant fulfills promise, officially opens The Durant Center

Prince George’s County native Kevin Durant fulfills promise, officially opens The Durant Center

Golden State Warriors small forward Kevin Durant is continuing to give back to the D.C. area community.

On Wednesday, the Prince George's County native opened The Durant Center, a new state-of-the-art facility offering students the academic, financial, and social-emotional resources to achieve their college and career goals.

In partnership with College Track  - a 10-year comprehensive college completion program aiming to help students from low-income communities become the first in their families to graduate from college - the inaugural class of 69 local students will be provided with tutoring and services for college scholarships. 

Durant has made a 10-year, $10 million commitment to the program. 

When my foundation partnered with College Track last year, we said from day one we wanted it to live inside a facility we could develop for Prince George’s County. The opening of the Durant Center is truly a dream come true for me and my family.

This will be the first of many collaborations between the Kevin Durant Foundation and Prince George's County as The Durant Center will be a home base for College Track and other educational programs in the county. 

Durant welcomed the inaugural class with a special ceremony on Wednesday as he and the Warriors are in town to face the Wizards Thursday night at Capital One Arena. 


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'Kevin Durant Day' parade takes over Seat Pleasant


'Kevin Durant Day' parade takes over Seat Pleasant

NBA world champion — and Price George's County native — Kevin Durant was back in the nation's capital on Thursday afternoon.

But the former Montrose Christian star wasn't back home just for vacation. The 2017 NBA Finals MVP was in town as "Kevin Durant Day" took over Seat Pleasant.

The event began with a lengthy parade, starting in Landover, Md at 10:00 a.m. and lasted over an hour, finishing near Suitland, his original hometown.

Durant — and the NBA Championship trophy — made his was down Seat Pleasant Drive to Addison Road, allowing locals the opportunity to get an up close and personal view of the egith-time NBA All-Star.