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Kevin Wayne Durant (born September 29, 1988 in Washington, D.C.marker) is an Americanmarker professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA.

A 6'9" small forward, Durant was the consensus 2007 National College Player of the Year, in addition to being selected as the 2006–2007 Big 12 Player of the Year, amongst other awards. After his freshman season at the University of Texasmarker, Durant opted to enter the NBA Draft, where he was selected second overall by the Seattle SuperSonics. There, he went on to claim the NBA Rookie of the Year Award after his debut season.

Durant signed an endorsement contract with Nike in 2007.

High school

A basketball player from his earliest days, Durant played for a successful Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) youth basketball team, the PG Jaguars. The Jaguars won multiple national championships with Durant and fellow future blue chip recruits Michael Beasley (Miami Heat) and Chris Braswell (Georgetown). Durant wore, and continues to wear, the #35 jersey in honor of his childhood mentor and AAU coach, Charles Craig, who was murdered at age 35. Durant later moved on to play AAU basketball with fellow McDonald's All American Tywon Lawson (North Carolina) for the DC Blue Devils. After spending two years at National Christian Academy (MD), and one year at Oak Hill Academy (VA), Durant starred for the Montrose Christian School in Rockville, Marylandmarker during his senior year. At Montrose, Durant led the team in scoring and was named the Washington Post All Met Basketball Player of the Year. Durant also played with current Maryland point guard Greivis Vasquez while at Montrose. Vetter described Durant as a hard working player, complete with size, shooting skills and ball handling skills. Durant also was named a McDonald's All American and named co-MVP of the 2006 McDonald's All American game along with Chase Budinger. Behind Greg Oden, Durant was widely regarded as the second-best high school prospect.

College

A 6'9" swingman with a 7'5" wingspan, Durant was one of four freshman starters for the University of Texasmarker basketball team. Durant started in all 35 games of the season, which culminated with a loss in the second round of the NCAA tournament to the University of Southern Californiamarker. Texas finished third in the conference with a 12–4 record and was the runner-up in the 2007 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament.

Although he had a slender frame, Durant frequently used it to his advantage by posting up bigger players, while shooting over smaller guards. ESPN analyst Dick Vitale praised Durant as the "most prolific offensive skilled big perimeter" ever and proceeded to compare Durant's game to those of current NBA stars like Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki. After a 37-point, 23-rebound winning performance against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, head coach Bob Knight described Durant as quick, fast and mobile, and being "really good". Texas coach Rick Barnes admitted to rarely calling set plays for Durant, instead relying on Durant himself and on his teammates to find him within the flow of the offense.

Durant was widely hailed by the media as the Big 12's top freshman and a top candidate to be named Freshman of the Year. He averaged 25.8 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game during his freshman season with the Texas Longhorns. In Big 12 matches he averaged 28.9 points per game and 12.5 rebounds. His college career high for scoring was 37 points, which he achieved on four occasions. Durant had twenty 30-point games his freshman year, including a losing effort against Kansasmarker for the regular-season Big 12 title.

In March 2007, Durant was named the NABC Division I Player of the Year, and received the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Adolph F. Rupp Trophy, becoming the first freshman to win each of these awards. On March 30, 2007, he was selected as the Associated Press college player of the year, becoming the first freshman and the first Texas athlete to receive this award since its inception in 1961. On April 1, 2007, he became the first freshman to receive the Naismith Award and on April 7, 2007, won the John R. Wooden Award.

In late February 2007, Durant received an invitation to the Team USA Basketball training camp, becoming the second freshman after Greg Oden to achieve this.

Less than a week after being drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics, the University of Texas announced the retirement of Durant's #35 jersey. The number will now hang in the rafters at the Frank Erwin Centermarker along with the #11 of former Longhorn great T. J. Ford. Durant's will be one of nine jerseys to be retired in ceremonies during the 2008–09 school year.

NBA career

Rookie season

Durant signing autographs in January 2008.
Durant declared himself eligible for the 2007 NBA Draft on April 11, 2007 and signed his first professional contract on May 25 with the Upper Deck Company, who later heralded Durant to be the focus of their 2007–08 NBA trading card line.

On June 28, 2007, Durant was taken second overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. It was expected that either he or Greg Oden, the starting center for Ohio Statemarker at the time, were to go Number 1 in the draft, but Oden was taken ahead of Durant when it actually happened. In the proceeding month, Durant went on to sign a seven-year, $60 million endorsement deal with Nikemarker—a rookie deal only surpassed by LeBron James' contract with Nike. In doing so, Durant reportedly turned down a potential $70 million contract with Adidas, opting for Nike since he had worn them all his life.

After playing only a handful of games in the NBA Summer League, Durant was chosen to trial for Team USA and participate in the State Farm USA basketball challenge, alongside NBA all-stars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard. Although Durant held his own in scoring 22 points for the Blue team in one game, he was ultimately dropped when the roster was trimmed to the twelve-player limit. Coach Mike Krzyzewski cited the experience of the remaining players as the deciding factor in making the cut.

On October 31, 2007, Durant made his NBA debut with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals in a loss to the Denver Nuggets. On November 16, 2007 Durant made the first game-winning shot of his NBA career with a key 3-pointer to beat the Atlanta Hawks in double overtime. Durant finished with 21 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks. On November 30, 2007, Durant scored 35 points to beat the Indiana Pacers. In a game against the Denver Nuggets, he flirted with a triple double as he came up with 37 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists. In the last game of his rookie season, Durant finally recorded his first double-double of his career with a career-high 42 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and also added 5 assists. In addition to leading all rookies in scoring for the season, he was named the NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November, December (2007), January, March and April (2008). Durant's 20.3 point per game season average broke the SuperSonics' 40-year-old rookie record set by Bob Rule during the 1967–68 season.

On April 30, 2008, Associated Press reported that Durant was awarded the NBA Rookie of the Year Award for the 2007–08 season.

2008-09 season

Although Durant was not selected to play in the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenixmarker, he did take part in two events. On February 13, Durant led the Sophomore team to a 122–116 victory over the Rookie side at the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam. He was crowned the MVP for the game after he set the scoring record with 46 points, breaking the old mark set in 2004 when Suns F-C Amar'e Stoudemire had 36 for the sophomores. The next day, Durant came from behind to win the first ever H-O-R-S-E Competition in NBA All-Star weekend history, beating out Joe Johnson from the Atlanta Hawks and O.J. Mayo from the Memphis Grizzlies after getting four quick letters early in the game.

Media

Kevin Durant was the coverboy of the NCAA March Madness 08 video game by EA Sports.

Awards

High school



College

  • 2007 ESPN All-American
  • 2007 ESPN Player of the Year
  • 2007 NABC Division I Player of the Year
  • 2007 AP Player of the Year (First freshman to achieve the honor)
  • 2007 AP All-America 1st Team (unanimous)
  • 2007 Oscar Robertson Trophy
  • 2007 Adolph Rupp Trophy
  • 2007 Naismith Award Winner (First freshman to do so)
  • 2007 John R. Wooden Award All-American Team
  • 2007 John R. Wooden Award Winner
  • Big 12 Rookie of the Week (six times)
  • Big 12 Player of the Week (four times)
  • 2007 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Awards:
    • Player of the Year
    • Big 12 Freshman of the Year
    • All-Big 12 First Team (unanimous)
    • Big 12 All-Defensive Team
    • Big 12 All-Rookie Team (unanimous)
  • 2007 AP National Player of the Year


NBA

*First team: 2008


Statistics

College

Year Team Games Played Minutes/Game Points/Game Rebounds/Game Assists/Game Blocks/Game Steals/Game Fouls/Game Turnovers/Game
2006–07 University of Texas 35 35.9 25.8 11.1 1.3 1.9 1.9 2.0 2.8


NBA career

Regular season

2007–08
Seattle
80 80 34.6 .430 .288 .873 4.4 2.4 1.0 .9 20.3
2008–09
Oklahoma City
74 74 39.0 .476 .422 .863 6.5 2.8 1.3 .7 25.3
Career
154 154 36.7 .453 .359 .867 5.4 2.6 1.1 .8 22.7

References

  1. Picker, David. "In the N.B.U.'s Age Game, Colleges Are Big Winners", The New York Times, April 22, 2006. Accessed December 1, 2007. "Durant, a forward at Montrose Christian School in Rockville, Md., has heard the endless chatter about where he would have been selected in the N.B.A. draft in June. A first-rounder? No doubt. A lottery pick? Probably so."
  2. Report: Durant's workout raises eyebrows at camp updated June 6, 2007
  3. Young, Durant to join Williams, Ford with retired UT jersey numbers
  4. October 31, 2007 boxscore: SuperSonics 103, Nuggets 120
  5. Carmelo, Denver dominate Durant in rookie's regular-season debut
  6. Wilkins scores 41, but Durant's 3-pointer clinches Sonics' double-OT win
  7. Sonics ride Durant's 35 to first home win
  8. Horford, Durant Named Rookies of the Month
  9. ATLANTA'S AL HORFORD AND SEATTLE'S KEVIN DURANT NAMED T-MOBILE ROOKIES OF THE MONTH
  10. Yi, Durant Named Rookies of the Month
  11. Durant, Horford Headline T-Mobile All-Rookie Team
  12. Horford, Durant Named T-Mobile Rookies of the Month
  13. Sessions, Durant Named T-Mobile Rookies of the Month
  14. ESPN - Kevin Durant Stats, News, Photos - Seattle SuperSonics - NBA Basketball


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