All month long, we’ve been counting down the top 25 active Texas Exes in their sport. Here is No. 1:
No. 1 Kevin Durant, basketball
The story of Kevin Durant coming to Texas was best told when the Statesman wrote an in-depth feature in “The Making of Kevin Durant” in February 2007. Durant’s recruiting class at Texas featured two 5-star players and five (FIVE) 4-star players. That class was rated No. 3 in the nation behind North Carolina (a class that featured the base of the 2009 National Championship team) and Ohio State (a class that featured three players who led Ohio State to the Final Four that season). Texas went 25-10 and finished third in the Big 12. Durant won nearly every postseason honor available. He was the consensus National Player of the Year, Big 12 Player of the Year and an All-American as he captured America’s attention by averaging 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.9 steals per game and shot 40.4 percent from 3-point range– something rarely ever seen at the college level from a near 7-foot forward. Texas lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to USC. Durant’s No. 35 is retired at Texas.
Pro career: Durant was taken No. 2 overall by the Seattle SuperSonics, in 2007. A year later, the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City to become the Oklahoma City Thunder. Since then, Durant has been a nine-time NBA All-Star, the 2014 MVP, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP, a five-time All-NBA First-Team member, two-time All-NBA Second-Team member, four-time NBA scoring champion, 2008 Rookie of the Year and the 2012 NBA All-Star MVP. He’s regarded as the league’s second-best player to LeBron James. In 2016, Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors and helped the team win its second title in three seasons in 2017. Durant has career averages of 27.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 38 .4 percent from 3-point range and 49 percent from the field.
[anvplayer video=”4288320″ station=”Cox Newspaper – Austin”]
Why he’s here: Durant donated $3 million to the University of Texas several months ago. He was recently named to Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. He is a global celebrity, a figure of pop culture and one of the most famous people — not just athletes — in the world. He’s been a movie star, has a popular YouTube channel. Simply put, in the present, Kevin Durant is the most famous Texas Longhorn in the world, and certainly the most dominant Texas athlete.
News on Bevo Beat is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of Hookem.com is included with an Austin American-Statesman subscription in addition to Statesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe today at statesman.com/subscribe.