He played at Texas only one season, but Kevin Durant has always considered himself a lifelong Longhorn. Now, he's giving back in superstar fashion.
The school announced Thursday that Durant will make a record-breaking $3 million donation to the UT basketball program and the university's Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation. It's the largest gift ever by a former Texas basketball player.
With $2.5 million of that going straight to the basketball program, the main entrance at Cooley Pavilion will be renamed the Kevin Durant Texas Basketball Center. Also, the men's facilities inside Cooley will be renamed the Kevin Durant Basketball Facility for Men.
The remaining $500,000 will go toward the program known as CSLi, which began three years ago to help athletes develop their leadership skills and focus on the long-term welfare of athletes and coaches.
"My time as a Longhorn helped build the foundation for who I am today as a player and a person, and the UT team will always be my family," Durant said in a statement.
"It's important to me to continue to give back to The University and ensure that future student-athletes have all the opportunities they need to succeed. It's an honor to have such a close and unique relationship with Texas Basketball, and I'm grateful to be able to contribute."
Durant's gift has already funded new men's and women's lockers and the installation of new practice courts. New wall graphics were installed along with audio improvements and formal office space.
"Each time I've had the opportunity to visit with Kevin, I've been impressed with his genuine appreciation for his time, growth and development at Texas," coach Shaka Smart said in a statement. "This gift means a great deal to our entire University, but it's more of a reflection of how meaningful the relationships that Kevin built while at Texas remain true to this day."
Said UT President Gregory L. Fenves, "KD has always had a powerful connection to The University of Texas. I am grateful for his generosity and investment in the future of UT's student-athletes."
Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP, has become an eight-time All-Star and won four NBA scoring titles. But he was a lanky freshman during the 2006-07 season under coach Rick Barnes.
Durant became the consensus national player of the year and just the third freshman in NCAA history to become a consensus first-team All-American. He guided the Longhorns a 25-10 record.
Despite being a one-and-done player at UT, Durant's legacy has lived on for years. Even current freshman Mo Bamba said one of the reasons why he chose the Longhorns was to follow Durant. The school's Nike contract also has a provision for "KD" branded shoes and equipment.