...I can't picture his best case or most plausible scenario, because there has never been anyone like him before. A 6'9" shooting guard with a 7'5" wingspan? And he's still growing? I see pieces of different players -- KG's body, Bob McAdoo's scoring, MJ's competitiveness, T-Mac's ability to attack the rim with either hand, Hakeem's fallaway, C-Webb's passing. But add it up and you get an original. Durant is the first iPod, or the plane the Wright brothers built."
- Bill Simmons, The Sports Guy, ESPN.com
Kevin Wayne Durant was born Sept. 29, 1988, in Washington, D.C.
While growing up in the nation's capitol, he learned to play basketball at Seat Pleasant Activity Center outside Washington under the tutelage of Taras Brown. Brown, using his intensive training and coaching techniques, is credited with helping Durant turn his basketball dreams into reality.
In high school, Durant starred for perennial power Oak Hill Academy of Virginia in his junior season, averaging 19.6 points and 8.8 rebounds, and was named a second-team All-American by Parade Magazine.
Prior to transferring to Montrose Christian School in Maryland for his senior year, Durant -- considered the No. 2 high-school prospect in the country at the time -- orally committed to attend the University of Texas.
While at Montrose, he led the team to a 20-2 record and a No. 9 ranking in the final USA Today poll. He averaged 23.6 points and 10.2 rebounds and was named a McDonald's All-American as well as a first-team All-American by Parade Magazine.
He had an impressive showing at the McDonald's All-American Game in San Diego, scoring 25 points for the winning West squad and earning co-MVP honors.
Durant's next stop on his hoops odyssey was Austin, Texas. He played only one season at Texas, but he awed fans and foes around the country with his phenomenal multitalented play.
From the season's opening tip, the 6-foot-9 boy wonder made headlines. In the Longhorns' first game against Alcorn State on Nov. 9, he scored 20 points in only 22 minutes. The effort -- a UT record for most points scored in a freshman debut -- was the first of several record-setting performances and accomplishments.
Texas cruised through its early nonconference schedule, going 10-3, as Durant led the way with seven double-doubles, including a 28-point, 13-rebound game vs. Arkansas.
When Big 12 conference play began, he took his game to a higher level. The Longhorns opened at Colorado on Jan. 6, 2007, and Durant tallied a career-high 37 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a 102-78 rout of the Buffaloes.
Ten days later, in one of the games of the season in college basketball, he registered 37 points and 12 rebounds in a wild triple-overtime 105-103 loss at No. 12 Oklahoma State.
However, he had his best game on Jan. 31. He scored a career-high tying 37 points and snared a personal-best 23 rebounds as Texas beat Bob Knight's Texas Tech squad, 76-64, on the road. After the game, an impressed Knight commented on Durant's stellar play. "He's really good," he said. "The guy is 6-9, he is mobile, he's quick, he's fast. I mean what more does he have to do?"
With the giant output against the Red Raiders, he became the first UT player and second player in Big 12 history to record a 30-point, 20-rebound game. The 23 boards also tied the Big 12 single-game mark.
Durant stayed red hot at the end of the regular season, scoring 30 or more points in the final three outings. He posted his 20th and final double-double of the campaign in the Big 12 Conference championship game against No. 2 Kansas.
Against the Jayhawks, he had 37 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots. Despite the Longhorns' 88-84 loss in overtime, he became the first UT player to earn MVP honors and set a tournament record with 92 points.
Texas continued its postseason run in the NCAA tournament, meeting New Mexico State in the first round. Durant contributed 27 points in a 79-67 win, which set up a second-round showdown against USC.
The Trojans played spoiler, however, ending Durant's magical season with an 87-68 victory. In his final college game, Durant 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Overall, Durant scored 20 or more points in 30 games, and hit 30 or more points 11 times -- a mark that set a UT season record and was the most in a season in Big 12 history.
He also led the Big 12 in scoring (25.8 ppg, ranked fourth nationally), rebounding (11.1 rpg, fourth) and blocked shots (1.9 bpg).
His 903 total points were the most in UT history and a Big 12 season record. The season point total also was the second-highest total by a freshman in NCAA history (965 by Chris Jackson, LSU, 1988-89).
After his extraordinary season, Durant was named the consensus national player of the year (Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, Associated Press, NABC, USBWA, Adolph Rupp Trophy, CBS/Chevrolet, ESPN.com, SI.com, The Sporting News), becoming the first freshman in NCAA history to win any of the major national player of the year awards, let alone all of them.
With little left to prove in college, Durant opted to leave Texas and declared himself eligible for the 2007 NBA draft on April 11.
On June 28, Durant was selected by the Sonics with the No. 2 pick behind Ohio State's Greg Oden, who was taken by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Shortly after the draft, Durant made his professional debut in the NBA Summer League at Las Vegas on July 6 against the Dallas Mavericks. He scored a game-high 18 points, but the Sonics suffered a 77-66 loss.
In October, Durant experienced his first NBA training camp under new Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo and quickly displayed his talented all-around game. His initial preseason action came on Oct. 9 at Sacramento and he recorded 12 points in a 104-98 defeat.
Next up for the gifted 19-year-old, his much-anticipated rookie season in the NBA.
College career highs for Kevin Durant:Points: 37, four times (last March 11, 2007 vs. Kansas)
Rebounds: 23, Jan. 31, 2007 vs. Texas Tech
Assists: 4, twice (last Jan. 2, 2007 vs. Texas-Arlington)
Blocks: 6, March 11, 2007 vs. Kansas
Steals: 5, Feb. 10, 2007 vs. Iowa State
Durant's College Statistics:
High School:2005 Parade Second Team All-American
2006 Parade First Team All-American
2006 USA Today First Team All-American
2006 McDonald's All-American
2006 co-MVP of McDonald's All-American Game
College:2007 John R. Wooden Award
2007 Naismith Player of the Year
2007 Adolph Rupp Trophy
2007 AP National Player of the Year
2007 AP All-America 1st Team (unanimous)
2007 Oscar Robertson Trophy
2007 NABC Division I Player of the Year
2007 ESPY Award -- College Athlete of the Year
2007 Big 12 Tournament MVP
Pro:2007-08 NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month, November
2007-08 NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month, December
2007-08 NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month, January
2007-08 NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month, March
2007-08 NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month, April
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company