Former Texas Longhorns star and 2017 NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant has donated $3 million to the University of Texas to support the basketball program and the school’s Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation, the university announced.
Durant’s donation is the largest-ever by a former Texas basketball player. $2.5 million will go to the Longhorns basketball program, which will name the men’s basketball facilities to 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,” Durant said in a statement. “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.”
Durant played just one season for Texas before entering the NBA Draft and being selected by the Seattle Supersonics with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2007 NBA draft. Durant as the Big 12 player and freshman of the year after averaging 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds while also shooting 40% from three-point range and 47% from the field. The Longhorns reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to USC. Durant also received the John R. Wooden Award.
“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,” Texas men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart said in the statement on Thursday. “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.”