Posted May 21, 2013

Kevin Durant, Thunder both donate $1M to Oklahoma tornado disaster relief

Ben Golliver, Clay Bennett, Kevin Durant, NBA, NBPA, Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant has spent five years in Oklahoma City. (Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant has played in Oklahoma City for five years. (Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant donated $1 million Tuesday to the American Red Cross through his family foundation to assist with disaster relief efforts in the wake of a tornado that swept through Oklahoma on Monday, killing at least 24 people and injuring hundreds of others.

“The Red Cross relies on its donors to perform its mission in relieving human suffering following disasters,” Janienne Bella, Red Cross’s regional CEO said in a statement. “Mr. Durant’s gift and support to Oklahoma comes at a time of great need and we’re forever thankful for his generosity.”

Later Tuesday, the Thunder organization also pledged a $1 million donation.

“Our hearts go out to all those affected by the devastation that has occurred within our community this week,” Thunder chairman Clay Bennett said in a statement. “We are focusing Thunder resources to help where we can in the relief efforts and to support the organizations that are on the ground assisting those affected by this week’s storms. Even with so much loss, the strength and resiliency of this community have once again been on display, and we will continue to work together as our community and state recover from this disaster.”

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association also pledged $1 million on Tuesday.

Durant tweeted a message of support to storm victims on Monday.

“Praying for the victims of the Tornadoes in OKC these last few days,” he wrote. “Everybody stay safe!”

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins sent Durant a message of thanks for the donation on Tuesday.

“Love it bro,” he wrote. “That’s how you keep it real. That’s a good thing bro. One million dollars is a blessing for the community.”

A number of other Thunder players — including Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha — offered their thoughts and prayers to the disaster victims.

CNN.com reports that the EF5 tornado’s wind speeds were estimated at up to 210 miles per hour. Hardest hit was Moore, OK., a town that sits just 10 miles south of Oklahoma City, where homes and businesses were flattened. President Barack Obama declared the storm a major disaster on Monday, making federal aid available, and pledged his support to the region on Tuesday.

“The people of Moore should know that their country will remain on the ground, there for them, beside them, as long as it takes,” he said. “There are empty spaces where there used to be living rooms and bedrooms and classrooms and in time we’re going to need to refill those spaces with love and laughter and community.”

The Associated Press reported Monday that Chesapeake Energy Corporation, which owns naming rights on the Thunder’s home arena in Oklahoma City, also donated $1 million to the Red Cross.

Durant, the runner-up to LeBron James for the 2013 MVP award, earned $16.7 million this season and recently placed No. 12 on SI.com’s “Fortunate 50″ list of highest-paid professional athletes, with an estimated annual income of $27.7 million.

The Kevin Durant Family Foundation has raised money to support after-school, summer, single-parent and education programs since it was founded in 2012. Durant and his mother, Wanda Pratt, set the foundation’s “Playing it forward” vision, with an emphasis on helping children and families.

“It’s an honor to play in the NBA, and I hope that I can use some of the attention given to me because of my work on the court to raise awareness and resources for the things that I know personally can make a difference in the lives of kids,” Durant said in a 2012 statement. “My mom believed in me, faced the many challenges of being a single parent, and she made sure that I had good grades and was involved in activities that helped make me become the person I am today. I’m excited to launch my foundation and look forward to making a difference.”

Durant, 24, has spent the past five seasons in Oklahoma City. The Thunder were eliminated by the Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals last week.

15 comments
clickshopgive
clickshopgive

Great job Kevin Durant. I have even more respect for you now. I hope the other Pro atheletes take notice and make a difference.

2ccsg1
2ccsg1

to andrea cavalli - you need to take a reading comprehension course. try to read my post again slowly. now where did I say LeBron was in trouble with the law? you need to stick to the quotes that are there so you don't come off as such a moron. stop making stuff up and get real if you think Lebron carries himself like KD you're the one who is misinformed. you obviously don't watch much basketball and haven't seen the interviews after the games this season.

JohnnyNguyen
JohnnyNguyen

Kevin Durant is my role model and when he said hes giving Oklahoma $1M i was happy

truebob
truebob

Every once in a while a real man steps up and reminds us what that phrase means. That Kevin Durant, he gives 'til it hurts.

carnage_2012
carnage_2012

Class act right there. I have much respect for this guy

riley8
riley8

Come on Thunder.  You can only match a player donation?

imrieandrew
imrieandrew

Kevin Durant is the model upon which all athletes should aspire to be.  Pro sports would be so much more enjoyable if everyone acted with as much class and dignity as he does.

aaronfarber9
aaronfarber9

I love Kevin Durant. A real class act. So many athletes donating $1000 per home run till All Star Break for at most $20,000. This is not chump change for Kevin.

I wonder if this puts pressure on Russell to give as much. He does make the same amount and he does want to be the Number 1 man. Jokes aside, a great gesture.

Guy5
Guy5

Mr. Durant,

You are an awesome individual. Im not that crazy about the NBA but you are at the top of my list of sports heroes. What a kind and generous thing to do.

2ccsg1
2ccsg1

Kevin Durant is a class act both on and off the court. Pros like LeBron with image & childish attitude problems should take note, they could learn a lot from a real superstar like Kevin.

batterysavers
batterysavers

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AndreaCavalli
AndreaCavalli

@2ccsg1  I agree about Durant being a class act, he's awesome, but why does some people like you always have to put LeBron down even in a topic like this one? LeBron has donated 1 million dollar himself a couple of months ago and is one of the more charitable guys in sports. Durant himself will tell you that LeBron, contrary to what you believe, is a great guy and classy since they're close friends off the court. A great number of former stars such as Jerry West, Bill Russell, Shaq has been calling LeBron a class act too and it's no coincidence he's also well-liked by most of his colleagues. It's about 2 years that LeBron has totally changed, in positive, the way he carries himself. Where have you been not to see that? Also, LeBron never got in trouble with the law so I think you could've made a better example if you really wanted to talk about athletes that should learn a lot from KD. No offense but you're coming off as misinformed.