Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant, the best NBA player the Texas Longhorns basketball program has ever produced, continued to show his high regard for his alma mater with a donation of $3 million, the school announced on Thursday.
Of that donation, $2.5 million will benefit Texas basketball, while the rest will go to the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation. In honor of the gift, the entrance to the Denton A. Cooley Pavilion will be named The Kevin Durant Texas Basketball Center, while the men’s facilities will be named the 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.”
The gift has already had an impact on the basketball program — Cooley Pavilion has received significant upgrades, including the renovation of both locker rooms, resurfacing of the courts, new graphics, audio improvements, and the creation of new office space in the facility.
Now it clicks. All upgrades inside Cooley (new courts, wall graphics, etc.) were because of KD's future donation. pic.twitter.com/d4PaCQxzPD— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) January 4, 2018
“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,” head coach Shaka Smart said. “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.”