Kendall Durant doesn’t mind when people mistake him for National Basketball Association member Kevin Durant – they’re cousins.
“I don’t take it personal,” Durant said. “I just correct them. A lot of people do ask, though. Sometimes it gets on my nerves, but I can’t get mad at them when he’s doing something good.”
Kendall Durant, junior guard from Washington, D.C., transferred to Abilene Christian University this year to play basketball.
Durant played for the basketball team at Weatherford Community College his freshman and sophomore years before heading to the University of Alabama. Unfortunately, he only competed in eight games for the Crimson Tide before fracturing his foot, ending his season early.
“I got down on myself and wanted to leave before it was even over,” Durant said. “Then my coach from Weatherford talked to coach Burton, ACU’s assistant coach. I don’t really like big schools. It’s a small area here with nice people. It’s different from home, but it’s nice though.”
Burton said having a winning coach has been an adjustment for Durant, but that he has handled it right and listened. His biggest challenge has been learning new habits, but he is striving to use his talents to be who God created him to be.
“He’s a really talented player and has started for us every game,” Burton said. “I followed him for a long time. As the season progresses, he’s going to be better with every game because he’s still learning.”
Kevin Durant wanted his cousin to stay at Alabama instead of transfer.
“Last time I saw Kevin was in June,” Durant said. “He was asking me what school I was going to go to. He wanted me to stay at Alabama, but I just had to get up out of there.”
Durant hasn’t talked to Kevin since he left home. Durant said he and Kevin change numbers many times and lose contact two or three times a year. They touch base in the summer though.
Kevin Durant, who played basketball at the University of Texas and now competes for the Oklahoma City Thunder, was the consensus 2007 National College Player of the Year, the 2006-2007 Big 12 Player of the Year, the 2008 NBA Rookie of the Year, the 2010-2011 NBA scoring Champion and an NBA All-Star in 2010-2011.
Kendall and Kevin first met at a recreational center when they were little. “We actually played on the same boys’ club team,” Durant said. “That’s how we first met each other. We were at the Cedar Heights rec center signing our names on a paper. He asked me my last name and when our family reunion was. Our parents had talked a little bit. It was crazy.”
Durant said he visited his cousin when the OKC Thunder played the Houston Rockets two seasons ago.
“He’s real cool, not cocky or anything. He’s just like you and me. He just plays basketball, and you can catch him on TV, but he’s a real down-to-earth person. He’s willing to help whoever’s in need, so I take my hat off to him.”
Durant said he loves the men’s team and feels like he can trust them.
“When you’re away from home, that’s one thing you really want: to feel like you are able to trust people and fall on people when you really need them,” Durant said.