Tag: Kevin Durant

NBA Star Kevin Durant Invests $10 Million to Help Maryland Youth Get into and Graduate College

Kevin Durant (photo via kulturehub.com)

by Thomas Heath via washingtonpost.com

Kevin Durant knows about starting at the bottom rung. But he is blessed with a gift to play basketball, which is not just a paycheck, but a ticket to worlds with other possibilities. He has used that access to create business opportunities beyond the world of sports, such as in technology.

What I love about tech is, I love watching the world advance,” said the 29-year-old star of the Golden State Warriors, who invests through his Durant Company. “I love the connections of people on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter. I would look at it like [Cornelius] Vanderbilt, who built the railroad. He connected us. The next advancement connecting us to each other is social media. I want to be part of that.” His interest in technology connected him to Laurene Powell Jobs and has led to a new philanthropic venture.

Durant has committed $10 million and partnered with the Prince George’s public schools on a program called College Track, which was created more than 20 years ago in California by Powell Jobs and others. College Track helps disadvantaged kids — like Durant once was — attend college and get launched into life.

A Kevin Durant Charity Foundation rendering. Durant is launching a College Track chapter in his former Prince George’s County neighborhood. (Kevin Durant Charity Foundation)

Durant is dropping a life-ladder called the Durant Center smack in the middle of the Seat Pleasant, Md., area where he grew up. It isn’t an elevator. The 60 students in the initial group must climb the ladder themselves.

But it’s a path.

“I want them to see the world,” Durant said in a phone interview this month. “I want them to see where people are from and see that there are things outside their world. I don’t know exactly or at what pace that they will get it, but there is a world outside that they need to see.”

Durant’s $10 million will seed construction and operating expenses of a local chapter of College Track, which is scheduled to open this year.

“This hits home, because it’s right in the neighborhood where me and my buddies lived,” said the 6-foot-11 “small” forward.

College Track is a 10-year program that provides the basic infrastructure — tutoring, test preparation, picking a college that is a “fit” and how to get financial aid — that kids from less-advantaged families often don’t have.

“These are all the things that middle-class families deliver if your parents went to college,” said Elissa Salas, College Track’s chief executive. “If your parents didn’t go to college, we fill that gap.”

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LeBron James Signs Historic Lifetime Deal With Nike

Lebron James/Nike (photo via slamonline.com)
Lebron James/Nike (photo via slamonline.com)

LeBron James is setting the bar with his latest venture — a lifetime deal with Nike that’s the first of its kind in the apparel juggernaut’s 44-year history.

The company made the announcement on Monday, ESPN reports, although full details of the deal haven’t been released. Nike and James first came together in 2003, before the star was a member of the NBA. At 18 years old, he was given a seven-year Nike endorsement contract worth just over $90 million. The risk paid off; LeBron has gone on to become one of the most successful players and businessmen in the field.

The deal surpasses previous partnerships between Nike and other players like Michael Jordan and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. And it’s a first for Nike, who’s never completed a lifetime deal with an athlete. Both parties released statements.

ESPN reports:

“We can confirm that we have agreed to a lifetime relationship with LeBron that provides significant value to our business, brand, and shareholders,” Nike said in a statement. “We have already built a strong LeBron business over the past 12 years, and we see the potential for this to continue to grow throughout his playing career and beyond.”

“It meant a lot to me even when I signed my first deal just to be with Nike, and it means even more that they’ve given me this,” James said. “It’s like I said, very humbling and grateful, and I’m going to continue to do my job and represent the brand the best way I can like I know how. Hopefully, people see that.”

The player will reportedly earn over $30 million a year from Nike.  The deal will more than likely fuel James’ philanthropic efforts long after he steps off the court. This year, he announced a scholarship program called “I PROMISE,” which will assist exceptional high school graduates as they move on to college. Parents of the program will also receive assistance in completing their GEDs, as well as job training programs.

article by Desire Thompson via newsone.com

Nike Megadeal Secures Kevin Durant’s Place With Shoe Brand

Kevin_Durant

It may have taken them longer than usual, but Nike knows a good thing when it sees it regarding Kevin Durant.

According to reports, the shoemaker put an end to speculation of the NBA star jumping ship to Under Armour by presenting a deal with an overall value that could rise to $300 million or more if his business continues to rise.

Under Armor’s deal with Durant, which he was on the verge of signing, involved an offer between $265 million and $285 million. Considering a possible transition to the Washington Wizards when he becomes a free agent after the 2015-16 season, Oklahoma City Thunder fans were a bit on edge about the move to Under Armour.

Sources tell ESPN that Nike countered it’s rival’s deal with its high-value offer to Durant and the belief that it will keep the Oklahoma City Thunder star for the next 10 years. Durant’s current seven-year deal with Nike for a guaranteed $60 million is expiring.  Initially, the company, offered Durant about $20 million a year in a deal that was far from what he had in mind. Hence, the appeal of Under Armor.

ESPN reports that Nike officials told Durant and his team at Jay Z‘s Roc Nation Sports on Saturday that it would step up enough to allow Nike to keep him in its robust stable of basketball endorsers that includes LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.  Although the exact Nike offer for Durant isn’t known, sources revealed to ESPN that Durant should make more — in base and royalties — than the Thunder will pay him over the next two seasons ($41.2 million).

Despite the big payday, sources close to Durant say the decision of which company he would align with weighed on him. A return to Nike, the sources noted, comes with a sense of relief because Durant can still make significant money without being associated with the risks of Under Armour’s fledgling shoe business.

SportsOneSource, a market retail-tracking firm, noted that Durant’s signature “KD” shoes made $175 million at retail this past year. Although Nike had used the “KD” logo since 2008, the company was granted the trademark for the brand in January.

With Durant staying with Nike, Under Armour now finds itself back at square one. The shoe company, which acquired Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry away from Nike last year, missed out on Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, who returned to the Jordan brand.

Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2014/09/nike-megadeal-secures-kevin-durants-place-with-shoe-brand/#QiAm4yXxrVsROQP9.99

GBN Wishes Everyone a Happy Mother’s Day

To all the mothers, grandmothers, daughters and sons – may you have a wonderful day celebrating or being celebrated as the most important women in our lives. Happy Mother’s Day – like Kevin Durant says, you are the real MVP!1526776_10152256493054086_2240527185522353751_n

Jason Collins’ Brooklyn Nets Jersey Now the Top Seller on NBA.com

Jason-Collins-jersey

Jason Collins made history Sunday when he became the NBA’s first openly gay player. On Tuesday, his jersey was the league’s top seller online.  Collins’ No. 98 jersey for the Brooklyn Nets outsold NBA powerhouses like LeBron James and Kevin Durant.  Monday, a league official told the New York Times the demand for merchandise that bore Collins’ name was “unprecedented.” Tuesday’s sales proved it.

Collins plays in his second game Wednesday night after signing a 10-day contract with the Nets. The team beat the Lakers 108-102 in his debut. Collins tallied 10 minutes and, more importantly, 5 personal fouls in the victory. In addition to solid interior defense, giving “hard fouls” has become Collins trademark since entering the league in 2001.  He’s not an All-Star and the Nets don’t need him to be. Ten minutes and five fouls could come again Wednesday night against the Blazers.

The Nets are in the midst of a 6-game road trip.

article via thegrio.com

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant and Minnesota Lynx Monica Wright Engaged

Kevin Durant and Monica Wright
Kevin Durant and Monica Wright

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is engaged to Minnesota Lynx guard Monica Wright. Wright confirmed the engagement following Minnesota’s 91-59 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday night.

Durant, who was selected with the second overall pick in the 2007 draft, just completed his sixth season in the NBA. The 24-year-old forward averaged 28.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists last season. Wright is in her fourth season in the WNBA. She played her college ball at Virginia and turns 25 on July 15.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press via thegrio.com

NBA Star Kevin Durant to Join Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports Agency

kevin durantKevin Durant is the latest superstar athlete to join Jay-Z’s new Roc Nation sports agency, according to reports.

Since selling his shares of ownership of the Brooklyn Nets in order to become a sports agent, the hip-hop mogul has already signed a handful of young superstars.

Durant, one of the three most popular players in the NBA, will join the likes of Robinson Cano, Victor Cruz, Geno Smith and Skylar Diggins as clients of Roc Nation.

While Jay-Z might not be the most seasoned sports agent, his brand development skills are undeniable. In the new age of brand marketing and social media, teaming up with a pop culture icon is one of the best ways for an athlete to increase his or her public image.

“KD doesn’t want a traditional NBA agent anymore,” a league source told Yahoo! Sports. “He wants Jay-Z to handle his branding. …He had a chance to be with his idol and couldn’t say no.” It also helps that Roc Nation is backed by Creative Artists Agency, one of the most powerful sports agencies in the country.

This is the second time in two years that Durant has changed agencies. He was most recently with Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports, which represents both Kobe Bryant and James Harden. Pelinka had been Durant’s most recent agent. In a year with Pelinka, Durant was the most marketed player in the league, with national TV spots for Nike, Sprint and Degree, to name a few.

But very few agencies can offer what Roc Nation offers. Jay-Z has influence and connections in sports and entertainment that very few people can match. If Durant wants to be surpass LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as the most popular figures in basketball, teaming up with Jay-Z was the right move.

article via sportingnews.com

Oklahoma Thunder Forward Kevin Durant Donates $1 Million to Disaster Relief

Kevin Durant in front of the hometown fans (Getty Images)

Via Daily Thunder:

Per the Red Cross, Kevin Durant has given a $1 million donation to the disaster relief fund.

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

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

It’s also well-worth mentioning that Kevin Durant did not announce this donation. Rather, the Red Cross was the first to point out Durant’s contribution (which was made through his personal charity arm, The Durant Family Foundation), with Kevin letting his donation do the talking.

The devastation in Oklahoma was as stunning as it was swift, and any little bit helps. The Red Cross’ localized branch is the best place to go if you want to contribute as Kevin did.