Even if you’re not a sports fan, remember the name; Kevin Durant.
In this day and age, where we see far too much negativity and poor sportsmanship, particularly in team sports, it’s refreshing to see a major star with such class and humility. I am not a fan of basketball. Until this past week, I had never heard of Kevin Durant. Now, I will never forget his name. Here’s why.
Kevin Durant has been playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for seven years. After one year of college, he smartly accepted being drafted into the NBA. Now 25 years of age and playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, he is breaking all kinds of records. Many compare him to Michael Jordan. This year, he surpassed the great Lebron James to earn the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. I won’t bore you with all the statistics, but rest assured they are phenomenal.
There’s far more to this young man than his ability to jump, dribble and shoot hoops. While he’s earning mega-millions in sport contracts and endorsements, his true nature can be judged by his philanthropy, never forgetting his roots, his religious devotion, his love of fellow man and most particularly, his single mother. Among other examples of his generosity, he gave one million dollars to the Red Cross in 2013 for victims of the Moore tornado. He inspired the Thunder team, and the Nike Corporation to match his contribution. A partial listings of philanthropy can be found on the Wiki link provided (below).
What really tore at the heartstrings was his amazing acceptance speech at the annual MVP award ceremony this past week. The bespectacled giant named – one by one – many of his teammates, giving them credits, not only for being great ball players, but as friends and mentors. Then came his heartfelt tribute to his mom who was sitting in the audience, mopping tears from her face. She never saw it coming:
“One my best memories I have is when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture, we all just sat in the living room and just hugged each other. We thought we made it. … You wake me up in the middle of the night in the summertime, making me run up a hill, making me do push-ups. Screaming at me from the sidelines of my games at eight or nine years old … When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”
That’s a Mother’s Day gift she will never forget.
See the speech, in the video link (below)