Former Longhorn, Texas Basketball star and NBA Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant is donating $3 million to the University of Texas to support Texas Basketball and the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation.
This is the largest donation any former Texas Basketball player has given back to UT, and it's among the largest gifts any professional athlete has given to their former university.
To commemorate the donation, the main entrance to Denton A. Cooley Pavilion will now be named The Kevin Durant Texas Basketball Center.
Additionally, the men's basketball facilities will be named The Kevin Durant Basketball Facility for Men.
Durant said, "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. 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."
UT Austin President Gregory Fenves said, "Kevin Durant is one of the greatest basketball players in the world, and he is also a Longhorn." He continued, "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 donation is funding significant facility improvements in Cooley Pavilion, renovating the men's and women's basketball locker rooms, resurfacing all basketball practice courts and audio improvements. From the donation, $500,000 will be given to UT's Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation, the first university-based institute dedicated to developing leadership and character cultivation for college athletes.
In the 2006-07 season, Durant led the Longhorns to a 25-10 mark and the NCAA Tournament Round of 32, earning him consensus National Player of the Year honors and becoming the first freshman in NCAA history to win any major National Player of the Year award. Now, Durant is an eight-time NBA All-Star and has earned an All-NBA First Team honor five times.