The after-school center for underprivileged students bearing Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant’s name opens Wednesday for dozens of kids in his hometown of Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Durant partnered with Oakland-based College Track to break ground on The Durant Center last winter. The 30-year-old pledged $10 million over the next decade to the program, which provides ninth-grade students from underserved communities with “academic, financial and social-emotional support” over a 10-year period that spans their college graduation. The center’s first class features 69 children.
“The full circle stuff that you dream about,” said Durant, who grew up in the Suitland neighborhood, virtually across the street from the education center that now bears his name. “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,” the 30-year-old superstar said.
Durant’s Warriors visit the Washington Wizards on Thursday. The $10 million represents more than 5 percent of Durant’s total earnings as a basketball player. On his last trip to Washington, D.C., Durant invited 60 students from Prince George’s County to tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture with his Warriors teammates in lieu of a championship visit to the White House.
The obvious parallel to The Durant Center is LeBron James’ I Promise School, a public facility that opened its doors to third- and fourth-graders this past summer in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
Let it never be said again that athletes should “shut up and dribble.”
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