Every Wednesday we shine a little Texas history spotlight on Hookemplus.com.
On Jan. 10, 2007, playing in his second Big 12 game, freshman Kevin Durant scored 34 points against Missouri in a 88-68 win at the Frank Erwin Center. It’s the most points scored in a player’s first two games conference games in Big 12 history (he scored 37 the game before).
Durant did it against then first-year coach Mike Anderson, who would later leave to coach one of Texas’ oldest rivals, Arkansas, after what would be a successful run at Missouri. The win on this day 11 years ago also made Texas coach Rick Barnes 9-0 in Big 12 home openers at Texas. Barnes wouldn’t lose a Big 12 home opener until Jan. 9, 2013, when West Virginia, in its first year in the Big 12, beat Texas 57-53 in overtime.
Durant, from Maryland, went on to win most national player of the year awards and helped Texas to an NCAA appearance.
And of course he became the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft, an NBA MVP, Olympic Gold Medalist and NBA Champion. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game — let alone one of college basketball’s greatest “one-and-done” players.
And while Durant didn’t play long for Texas, he’s never forgotten about his time at Texas, and last week he showed just that when he gifted $3 million to the University of Texas. That single donation was a record-breaking one for former Longhorn basketball players (Yo, LaMarcus Aldridge, let’s go!).
Durant’s donation wasn’t just the largest by any former Texas basketball player, but by any former Texas athlete– think about that one for a second.