Kevin Durant is one of the NBA’s biggest stars, but he’s becoming so much more than that to a younger generation.
The 30-year-old nine-time All-Star from the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday opened College Track at The Durant Center, an after-school facility in Prince George County, Md., that will help usher underserved children into college and beyond.
Durant is pledging $10 million over 10 years to provide scholarships, tutoring and emotional and financial assistance to those who enroll.
The facility lies a few blocks from Durant’s childhood apartment in Suitland, Maryland.
“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.“
Durant welcomed 69 kids into the inaugural program, where a NBA Draft-like ceremony took place, and made it fun for the families.
“It might have our name on the side of the building, but it’s your home, so enjoy it, make it yours and the future starts here” he told the students.
Durant’s goal of opening a center like this stems from the impact mentors had on his life.
“I had coaches and teachers that believed I could be something special. That’s where it starts,” Durant told the Mercury News. “Just older folks that believe and trust in your potential, whether it’s coaches, teachers or guidance counselors. You need someone with more experience who believe in you.”
This isn’t the first time Durant has given back to his hometown. He also donated about $60,000 for new basketball courts at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center.
“He’s a super hero and he’s genuine,” childhood friend Quinn Cook told the Mercury News. “It’s not like it’s because he’s Kevin Durant. He does it because he’s one of those kids and a lot of his family and friends are still in the community.”
And, when the Warriors opted to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture rather than White House, Durant invited 60 students from his hometown to join in on the trip.
So, even though Durant lives in California, his reach extends far beyond his seven-foot wingspan.