NBA champion and MVP Kevin Durant and his mother Wanda Durant, who he publicly proclaimed was “the real MVP,” are giving back to the basketball star’s hometown once again.
The Durant Family Foundation held a press conference to announce a $500,000 investment to Bowie State University’s Athletics Department, which will go towards installing a new basketball court, expanding seating capacity and improving the press box for the BSU basketball arena, located in the Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex. Athletics VP Clyde Doughty Jr. believes that this donation will encourage even more students and community members to attend games and see the on-campus facilities.
“We are dedicated to providing resources and possibilities to students for higher education, especially in Prince George’s County,” said Wanda Durant, the basketball star’s mother, who runs the Durant Family Foundation. “Bowie State was the perfect place to have meaningful impact.”
State dollars can’t go to athletic programs. Students are often charged athletic fees in addition to tuition to maintain athletic programs, a prohibitive cost for students. By funding this donation, Bowie State will not have the same need for raising athletic fees that other Maryland universities have implemented over the past decade.
“This gift is important because we rely on private dollars to support the operation we have here,” said Bowie State President Amina Breaux.
Durant also took the moment to offer support for Deion Sanders’ decision to leave Jackson State and go to University of Colorado. She expressed optimism that HBCUs will continue to attract star athletes.
Athletics VP Clyde Doughty Jr. and Breaux both agreed that this donation will enhance the visibility of the university and improve the student experience.
“Athletics is a way to improve the student experience, build student success and bring greater awareness to the excellence of Bowie State University” President Breaux said in a post-conference interview. “This generosity of this investment will enhance our athletic program by improving the athletic facilities and seating, providing financial support to student athletes, and spreading awareness of our school’s excellence.”
The press conference ended with BSU cheerleaders performing and many in the crowd chanting “BSU!”
Founded in 1865, Bowie State is the oldest and one of four HBCUs in Maryland. The other three are Morgan State, Coppin State, and University of Maryland- Eastern Shore.
This is not Kevin Durant’s first major community investment. The Seat Pleasant native has also established a College Track at the Durant Center in Suitland to help first-generation and low-income college students. Durant also has donated to refurbish the Seat Pleasant Activity Center at 5720 Addison Road and provided backboards, TVs, and video games for the youth hub that he developed his game in.