Kevin Durant, National Player for the 2007 consensus and former student at the University of Texas has offered the Longhorns a donation of $3 million in support of the state’s Basketball and Center for Sports Innovation and Leadership.
This donation is considered to be the largest offered by any former basketball player from Texas in addition to being the largest amount given back from any professional who attended this college.
From this donation, a total of 2.5 million will be used to support the basketball program. In addition, the Denton A. Cooley Pavilion is to be renamed in honor of the star player with its new title, The Kevin Durant Texas Basketball Center. Other facilities used by the men’s basketball team will also be renamed The Kevin Durant Basketball Facility for Men.
“My time as a Longhorn helped build the foundation for who I am today as a player and a person, and the UT team will always be my family,” stated Durant. “It’s important to me to continue to give back to The University and ensure that future student-athletes have all the opportunities they need to succeed. It’s an honor to have such a close and unique relationship with Texas basketball, and I’m grateful to be able to contribute.”
His generous donation has already supported substantial improvements in the Pavilion, including a renovation to the women’s and men’s locker rooms, renewal of both teams practice courts, audio improvements, the construction of a formal office for the Pavilion and even decorative graphics installed around the men’s practice space.
“Kevin Durant is one of the greatest basketball players in the world, and he is also a Longhorn,” said Gregory Fenves, President of UT-Austin. “As an NBA All-Star, as a gold medalist, as an NBA MVP and now, as an NBA champion, KD has always had a powerful connection to The University of Texas. I am grateful for his generosity and investment in the future of UT’s student-athletes.”
The CSLi, which was initiated three years prior in order to establish development, long-term welfare, and leadership skills among student-athletes and staff, will also utilize $500,000 from the donation. The founding director of the program, Daron K. Roberts is a former college coach and NFL, who established the first institute based in a university devoted to evolving character and leadership curricula for college and high school athletes.
The star athlete was also the first among freshman to a National Player of the Year award and in 1983 he became the third among fellow freshmen to become a first-team All-American.
“Kevin Durant has an incredibly strong and personal connection with not only our basketball program but The University of Texas as a whole. Each time I’ve had the opportunity to visit with Kevin, I’ve been impressed with his genuine appreciation for his time, growth and development at Texas,” stated Shaka Smart, a Texas coach. “This gift means a great deal to our entire University, but it’s more of a reflection of how meaningful the relationships that Kevin built while at Texas remain true to this day.”