Happy 30th! Kevin Durant’s dad shares his favorite basketball memories of his son
On KD’s 30th birthday, his father celebrates his son’s accomplishments
On Sept. 29, 1988, Kevin Wayne Durant was born in District of Columbia General Hospital in Washington, D.C., to his parents Wanda Durant and Wayne Pratt. Thirty years later, KD is one of the world’s greatest basketball players — a two-time NBA champion, NBA Most Valuable Player, Olympic gold medalist, philanthropist, business man and role model.
A proud papa Pratt fondly recalls the memorable days of his future Hall of Fame son’s basketball career. But no matter what his son has done on the hardwood, Pratt’s favorite memory of him was when he was born.
“I remember he was just so long,” Pratt told The Undefeated. “He was about six pounds. I felt like one day he was going to be a special kid. He has had his moments. I’m looking at ‘Little Kevin’ now and he has had the weight of the world on him. He still walks around with that smile like he doesn’t have a worry in the world. He’s always, always cared about others more than himself.
“The thing I am so proud of in watching him turning 30 is his growth and his maturity level to understand and care about others as he always has through the years. He’s a team player and has become a businessman. He’s starting to understand that basketball isn’t life. There are more things going on than just basketball. … Now, I look at him and listen to his interviews and am in awe of what kind of businessman he has become. He cares about what is going on in society each day. I’m in awe at how he has grown as a man.”
On Durant’s 30th birthday, KD’s father, Wayne Pratt, penned 30 of his favorite memories from his son’s basketball career:
- Sept. 29, 1988: The first day I laid eyes on him.
- May 20, 2013: A very powerful tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. The very next day Kevin called me and said he wanted to do something to help the victims. So after serious thought he decided to donate $1 million of his own money to Red Cross and then visited the town. Very proud of him.
- May 6, 2014: I was moved when I witnessed my son win MVP of the whole league and then give one of the greatest heartfelt tributes to his mother.
- July 3, 2016: One of the toughest decisions he ever had to make — leaving OKC to go to Golden State. But he did it on his own and dealt with the backlash. One of the proudest moments for me.
- June 6, 2017: After waiting five years to get back to the Finals, not only did he win it but he also was the Finals MVP. I remembered the pain and hurt from 2012. Now he gets to celebrate.
- Winter 2001: I watched him play a middle school game with NaVorro Bowman at Drew Freeman School and that’s when I first knew he was a special basketball player.
- March 4, 2006: No. 1 Oak Hill (Ty Lawson and Michael Beasley) versus Montrose Christian (KD and Greivis Vasquez). Montrose ended Oak Hill’s 40-game win streak at the buzzer.
- 2014-15: The whole year was crazy with him breaking his foot, having two surgeries and missing the whole season, but I personally think it’s when he began to really appreciate the gift he was given from God.
- Nov. 9, 2006: Watching his first college game against Alcorn State.
- Jan. 16, 2007: One of the best college basketball games I have ever seen — triple OT game between Texas and Oklahoma State — even though we lost.
- Jan. 31, 2007: First time facing the legendary coach Bobby Knight and Texas Tech, KD goes off for 37 points and 23 rebounds.
- March 18, 2007: Texas versus USC — KD against Nick Young in Spokane, Washington. Bittersweet for me because I knew then it was his last college game.
- March 29, 2006: San Diego, California. KD was MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game and gives his older brother his jersey.
- April 22, 2006: Kevin getting selected to the Michael Jordan classic and winning MVP, and I met MJ which was a bucket list request.
- April 7, 2007: Kev becomes the first freshman to win the John Wooden award. It was special to me being a coach. Coach Wooden was an icon to me.
- April 11, 2007: Kev makes the decision to enter the NBA draft, fulfilling a dream he had since 8 years old.
- June 28, 2007: His lifelong dream was a reality — he was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics.
- Oct. 31, 2007: First NBA game versus Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets. Watching my son for the first time on an NBA court fulfilling his dream.
- May 1, 2008: Rookie of the Year after a tough season, he was duly acknowledged for his hard work. Very proud moment — I’m a historian and know the names before him.
- Feb. 14, 2010: Kevin’s first selection to the All-Star team as a reserve — he played in front of the largest crowd ever at Cowboys stadium — was amazing.
- April 18, 2010: First playoff game against the Black Mamba in L.A. I was so excited for him and what the team had accomplished in such a short time.
- April 22, 2010: In OKC, Game 3 versus Kobe and the Lakers. Kev got his first playoff win with 29 points and 19 rebounds. Great game.
- 2011 playoffs: These young guys led by Kevin got to the Western Conference finals versus Dallas in only their second year in the playoffs. That’s when I knew this was a special team.
- Feb. 20, 2011: The fans selected Kev as a starter for the All-Star Game, which was played in L.A.
- Feb. 26, 2012: With 36 points, Kevin wins his first All-Star MVP in Orlando. I remember because we had 24 inches of snow back home and barely made the game.
- June 6, 2012: Kevin and his teammates beat the mighty Spurs 4-2 to reach his first Finals. MY SON IS PLAYING IN THE NBA FINALS. Unbelievable.
- June 21, 2012: Kevin just lost 4-1 to LeBron and the Miami Heat. I was standing in the tunnel as he came off the court. He firmly hugged his mom and I. His hurt, pain and emotions at that moment made me believe he would be back on that big stage again and win.
- Dec. 16, 2014: Kevin became the second youngest to 15,000 points.
- June 8, 2018: Same results as 2017 and equally proud of him and his success. He is being truly blessed for his hard work.
- Nov. 16, 2007: Kevin hit his first game-winner against Atlanta. They had been been struggling, he was frustrated, but he hung in there.