Durant family donates $500K to Bowie State for new basketball court

NBA star and Prince George’s County native Kevin Durant is giving back to the oldest historically Black university in Maryland, Bowie State University.

A donation from his family foundation will help upgrade the basketball arena.

Wanda Durant, Kevin’s mother, presented the $500,000 donation to the school where she remembers bringing him to play as a teen. The foundation, she said, has long planned to make a donation to the school.

“Prince George’s County is home. Bowie State is right in our backyard. My son played tournament ball here,” Durant recalled.

Mock-ups of Bowie State’s new court design were displayed at Monday’s announcement. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

The donation will update the school’s basketball court, bleachers and broadcasting capabilities from the press box. The men’s and women’s teams were asked to arrive in their school gear, but junior Anii Harris said no one knew what to expect when arriving at the Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex.

Kevin Durant’s mother, Wanda, stands next to the executive director of the Durant Family Foundation, Jose Mena, on the Bowie State University court that will soon be redone. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

“They didn’t tell us anything on purpose, I think,” Harris said. “We walked in and were super confused — a whole bunch of cameras going on. We just knew what we had to wear. … And then we see KD’s mom — and everybody knows KD’s mom — and then we heard the amount. I was shocked.”

Mock-up designs printed on posters in the arena’s entrance show what the new basketball court will look like, which will include Kevin Durant’s initials painted on the hardwoods. The update was needed to keep the university competitive and draw students to Bowie State, said university President Amita Breaux.

“Our court is okay.  But when you compare us to so many other schools across this nation, we really are falling behind. And we’re not able to use state funds to support the scholarships that we need, the programs that we need. That’s all garnered through private donations,” Breaux said.

The school confirms that they are working with the Durant Family Foundation to achieve other goals, which could include donations to student scholarships.

Durant did not attend the event.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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