SUITLAND, Md. (ABC7) — Some people forget where they come from, but NBA star and Prince George’s County native Kevin Durant is not one of them – and as a result, dozens of local teens have a much better chance of going to college.
Although he had to leave because of an injury, Durant finally saw his first playing time in this year’s NBA Finals Monday night.
Dozens of students and families from Suitland High had very personal reasons for cheering him on.
Last year Durant announced he was making a ten year, ten million dollar commitment to bring a program called College Track to Prince George’s County. 68 students who were selected for the program are now wrapping up their freshmen years at Suitland High School.
A short distance from the high school, College Track opened “The Durant Center” during this past school year.
Several times a week students in the program go to the center after school for tutoring and instruction. They also learn life skills such as time management and how to deal with stress from at-times difficult life situations.
The program is aimed at students from low-income areas.
Students who work hard and meet goals set by College Track will one day receive financial help to go to college. The program is committing to each of the students for up to ten years to see them through high school and college.
“For [someone] like Kevin Durant to say, ‘this is where I came from. How can I give back, how can I make a difference?’ For families like us who are still trying to find our way, it’s everything to us. It’s life-changing,” said Berniece Reese, whose son Donovan is in the program.
“It’s a really great experience. I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Donovan told ABC7. “My ultimate goal is to get a Ph.D.”