Durant's donation creates cool Seat Pleasant hangout
NBA star gives $25,000 to community center where he spent his youth
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Youngsters in Seat Pleasant now have one of the coolest hangouts in Prince George's County, courtesy of NBA star Kevin Durant.
When he was growing up in Seat Pleasant, Durant spent countless hours at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center, honing the skills that have made him one of pro basketball's best players. Last year, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward donated $25,000 to the center, which used the funds to renovate a gaming room/lounge.
The room, dubbed Durant's Den, has a whole new feel with a vinyl floor made to replicate a basketball court, two 55-inch LCD flat-screen televisions, a projection screen, an Xbox 360, a PlayStation 3, bar stools, couches and lounge chairs.
Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene Grant, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Chairman Samuel Parker, Durant and a host of community residents were on hand for a dedication ceremony Friday afternoon at the center, located at 5720 Addison Road.
"Just because of him being here day after day, we wanted something he could appreciate, and this is it," said Seat Pleasant Activity Center Director Tracey Butler, adding that Durant frequently hung out in the same room during his youth.
"[Before the renovation] it was like a hangout place," Butler said. "The main reason I decided to use the money he donated [to renovate the room] was because Kevin worked out here morning, noon and night. He ate in there, slept in there and just hung out."
Butler said that before the renovation the room had a small television and some board games, and was used as a temporary storage area. Now the room has a new look and attitude. Butler said the renovation was completed within the past three weeks.
"I still feel like a kid coming in here," said Durant, who has averaged 25.3 points per game in his three NBA seasons. "I remember in that room we had a ping-pong and pool table. We didn't have a TV. Sometimes they would bring in a TV, but this is where I spent most of my days."
Parker said he is proud to see Durant give back to the center.
"It's great to see someone that was nurtured in our programs, which goes back to our whole philosophy of having youth grow to be really successful people," Parker said. "Not only is Kevin a good athlete, he's just a good young man. We're just so proud to see him come back here and it feels really good."
Butler said she expects to add several computers to the room in coming months. In addition to his $25,000 donation last year, Durant has donated school supplies, shoes, sports equipment and uniforms whenever the center has requested assistance.
"Every memory I have growing up is in this center," Durant said.