At The Top Of The Key
Basketball is the Least Hallmark of Kevin Durant’s Greatness
At a time when the one-percent, the richest among us, are focused on acquiring more wealth, Durant is intentionally sharing his in ways that have the best impact on people’s lives.
And that’s something we can all celebrate.
The parade held in Seat Pleasant in Durant’s honor August 17 was not just because of his achievements on the court. According to leaders of the event, it was just as much about what the Prince Georgian represents to young people and the future as it does his round ball skills.
Durant is part of a generation of Americans that is facing an unusual set of circumstances. For the first time in the nation’s history, the generation coming into leadership is inheriting less stability from the generation before it rather than more.
Young adults coming into their own will have to answer the issues confronting them and, in many ways, repair damaged social, economic and political structures left to them.
And he is facing it well and with the kinds of actions that encourage and support those around him.
Long before Kevin Durant captured a once-elusive NBA Championship, his hoop-cred was already impressive. Along with eight All-Star Game appearances, he’s a four-time scoring champion, was named MVP in 2014, and won two Olympic gold medals.
But as his career pushes forward, basketball may be a minor player in Durant’s stature. It’s very likely that his Kevin Durant Charity Foundation will out shine the small-forward’s on-court performance.
In 2013, Durant gave $150,000 to three community organizations in the county: the Seat Pleasant Activity, the Community Kinship Coalition, and the Maryland Jaguars Youth Organization. Durant initially started the foundation to help at-risk youth.
And his largesse isn’t confined to Seat Pleasant, Durant’s hometown. In 2015, he started the Build It and They Will Ball project, in which basketball courts have been created or renovated domestically and abroad to give young people the opportunity to improve their lives through sports.
So far, courts have been erected in Berlin, New Delhi, India, Oklahoma City, Seattle, and of course, Seat Pleasant.
None of this is possible without Durant’s early childhood anchoring in family, hard work, focus, sacrifice and discipline. The unwavering strength of his mother, Wanda, is critical to nurturing and protecting the potential in young Kevin. Those values and efforts are more than the core of a good family, they are the fabric of a successful, civil society.
Today, Durant, and many like him, epitomizes the dream that King espoused, the manhood that Malcolm X talked about and the hope for change that Obama challenged us to hold onto. It’s no wonder Seat Pleasant honors its favorite son with a Kevin Durant Day Parade and Festival.