“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” – Taras Brown.
It is this quote that has defined the second leading scorer in the NBA, Kevin Durant. In his third year, Kevin Durant is averaging more than 28 points per game, his career high. There is no doubt between anyone that Kevin Durant is one of the top players in the NBA today.
Kevin Durant grew up in Washington D.C and started playing basketball at a young age. Kevin and his brother would both participate in sports at their local Boys & Girls club, specifically basketball. As a child, Kevin was best friends with Michael Beasley, Miami Heat Forward, and often would ride the bus with each other. Richard Wyatt Jr., also a friend of Durant, stated that Kevin “was not that good” in basketball and that “he had to work at it.”
Kevin Durant would practically live in the gym, as he would practice nearly 9 to 10 hours a day. It would only be a matter of time before that hard work would pay off. According to his website, Kevin would run up and down a nearby hill frequently and would also do 500 push-ups and 1,000 toe raises. In an interview with The Seattle Times, Kevin stated that he honestly did not know how he did all those things when he was younger and that he “just wanted to be great.”
In his Junior year in High School, Kevin transferred to Oak Hill academy where he would play with point guard Ty Lawson, 2009 ACC Player of the Year. In his junior year in High School Kevin averaged 19.6 points per game and nearly 9 rebounds per game as well. As his senior year approached, Kevin then went on to play under renowned high school basketball coach Stu Vetter in National Christian Academy. There Kevin averaged a double double with 23.6 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game. He was named to the McDonald’s All American Team.
As his high school career began to end, Kevin Durant was one of the top high school basketball players in the country. He would later go on to play for the University of Texas where he would player under Rick Barnes. Kevin would stay in Texas for one year, but in that one year he established himself as one of the nation’s top players in the nation. In his freshmen year, Kevin set the single-season school as well as Big 12 record for points in a season with 903. He also set the single-season record for most rebounds in a season with 390. Kevin Durant would end his freshmen year losing in the second round in the NCAA Tournament to the University of Southern California. However, Kevin was virtually at the top of every NBA teams list in pro prospects.
Kevin Durant left the University of Texas after one year and would enter himself in the NBA Draft where he was drafted second to the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise. In his rookie year Kevin averaged 20.3 points per game and was named in the first team All-Rookie Team as well as winning the coveted Rookie of the Year award.
Now, with only three seasons under his belt, Kevin Durant is now one of the top basketball players in the world. Presently, Kevin is having an incredible season and his best yet. The Oklahoma City Thunder is ranked 5th in the Western Conference and is currently riding on a six game winning streak. It is safe to say that the team’s success is partially due to Kevin Durant, who is living proof that success comes with hard work.
Updated 11/2012 by Mike
Now, with only five full seasons under his belt, Kevin Durant is a perennially MVP contender. He has won three consecutive scoring titles and he led his team to the NBA Finals last season. An MVP and an NBA Championship are certainly in his future, hard work really does pay off.
[Photo Credit: sportsalex.wordpress.com]