Kevin Durant turns 25 today and the entire basketball community will be praising KD’s amazing basketball ability and what he’s been able to do on the court at the age of 25 compared to past legends (like scoring 4,479 more points than Kareem at 25) and current greats, but we at Ballislife want to celebrate the man off the court that deserves as much praise, if not more, than the superstar on the court.
Earlier this year, Ramarcus Ervin, who has lived at The Children’s Center since he was 2 months old, celebrated his 14th birthday with his favorite basketball player – Kevin Durant. Durant heard about Ervin via a tweet from the center and immediately responded saying he wanted to come by and meet his special fan. True to his word, KD showed up with a bunch of gifts for Ervin, including signed memorabilia and some KD shoes, spent some time with him and then walked around the hospital meeting other patients and staff.
Back in May, after the devastating Tornado damage that destroyed neighborhoods and killed at least 24 people in Oklahoma, Durant, via his Kevin Durant Family Foundation, donated a million dollars to the Red Cross without saying a word about it. It was the Red Cross that publicly thanked him. His generous donation sparked the Thunder and the NBA to match his donation, Nike to donate a million in products and probably served as the catalyst for many other people to contribute what they could.
One of those others was 8 year old Jay Fair from Rowlett, Texas.
“I follow severe weather constantly and have always wanted to be a storm chaser when I grow up,” Fair said. “I’m also really into sports so when I heard Kevin Durant made a $1 million donation to the American Red Cross to help the victims, it got me thinking I could do something too.”
While most 8 year old kids happily accept every materialistic item they can on their birthdays, this exceptional 8 year old wrote a letter to his family and friends and asked them to give shoes that will be given to tornado victims instead of buying him some gift that will be discarded or obsolete in a years time. Jay was able to collect 82 pairs of shoes and personally brought them to KD at his basketball camp.
KD & his foundation also donated another $150,000 this summer to organizations back in his hometown of Seat Pleasant including the Seat Pleasant Activity Center, Community Kinship Coalition and the Maryland Jaguars Youth Organization.
The foundation is also in development of the KD House which “will provide full-circle transitional housing for homeless families dedicated to improving their lives.”
“I know there is someone, somewhere, trying to take my spot. And I know where he is, too. He’s in Oklahoma. He’s my inspiration because I see the direction he’s headed, and it’s the same direction I’m headed. I know his mindset, and he knows mine. It’s a collision course. We’re driving one another.” LeBron talking to Sports Illustrated about Durant.
It’s good to hear that Durant is inspiring other athletes on the court but hopefully KD’s contribution to the world off the court inspires more wealthy athletes in a powerful position to do a lot of good to do just that.
Happy Birthday KD and enjoy that new wedding ring that will hopefully look nice to your upcoming championship ring. Keep in mind, Shaq didn’t get a ring until he was 26 and Jordan and LeBron had to wait until their 27th year to get one.
Be sure to check out NewsOK.com’s awesome article 25 things to know about Kevin Durant including his Five Biggest Games. The captions below are from Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater of NewsOK.
Jan 18, 2013 — at Mavericks
Against a pesky Dallas team that always seems to play the Thunder tough, Durant simply wouldn’t let OKC lose. He dropped a career-high 52 points, which included an unbelievable 21-of-21 from the line, and provided the backbreaker, drilling the game-winning floater over Shawn Marion, a guy KD has victimized maybe more than anyone, with 17 seconds left.
April 16, 2008 — at Warriors
The 19-year-old rookie provided SuperSonic fans with a special parting gift. In the final game before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, a baby-faced Durant dropped 42 points and 13 rebounds in a win over the Warriors, his first career double-double and a glimpse of what was to come. “I think I got better and learned how to play the game a little bit more,” he said after the game.
April 27, 2011 — vs. Nuggets
Durant put up a dominant 41 points on only 27 shots (the only player on the team to score more than 14), helping hold off the Nuggets in Game 5 and spring the Thunder to its first playoff series win since moving to OKC. The Thunder overcame a nine-point deficit in the final four minutes, mostly thanks to Durant scoring the team’s final nine points. “Kevin just took over. It was an unbelievable performance,” Nick Collison said.
November 18, 2012 — vs. Warriors
Six years into the league, Durant had continually shown a vast improvement in all areas of the game. But until this November night against the Warriors, he didn’t have a triple-double to point to. Against Golden State, he put together a 25-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist night in a double-digit win. “Now, I guess I’ve finally got the monkey off my back,” he said after the game.
January 26, 2011 — at Minnesota
In a wild overtime showdown with Kevin Love and the Timberwolves, KD had the last laugh. Durant piled up 47 points and 18 rebounds in 50 minutes, edging out an equally unbelievable Love (31 points, 21 rebounds, countless big plays). “All I can say is Durant is incredible. He’s incredible,” a defeated Love said postgame.