3 basketball stars from Prince George's County competing in NBA Finals
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. (ABC7) —
The NBA Finals got underway on Thursday, and people throughout Prince George's County will be watching closely.
That's because three homegrown, Prince George's County athletes are now competing for the championship.
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is from Seat Pleasant and his teammate Quinn Cook went to high school in Hyattsville.
Playing against them for the Cleveland Cavaliers is Jeff Green, who was born and raised in Cheverly.
"They're great ambassadors for Prince George's County, great ambassadors for Maryland, and great role models," Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker said. "We're really excited about having three."
It's a statistic that serves as inspiration for the county's next generation of basketball players.
"I think it's really cool, because they inspire me," 13-year-old Samuel Atta-Safoh said. "Since I live in this county, I'm inspired that I could play in the NBA like them."
Atta-Safoh was one of several teens ABC7 met on Thursday, on the court at the Kentland Community Center in Landover. Almost every one of them said they have dreams of one day playing in the NBA.
"Yes, I want to progress and get better and become an NBA player," said 13-year-old Tyler Connelley, who said Durant is one of his favorite players. "We're just going to follow in their footsteps or even be better than them someday."
The Town of Cheverly, where the Cavaliers' Green grew up, paid tribute to his NBA Finals' appearance with a message on the community center sign that reads: "Congratulations Jeff Green, Cheverly Native, NBA Finals."
Green went to Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, while Cook went to DeMatha Catholic High School just a few miles away.
Cook's teammate Durant is so beloved in his hometown of Seat Pleasant, the city held a parade in his honor when he won the NBA championship in 2017.
And in 2018, Durant made a $10 million donation to Suitland High School and Prince George's County Public Schools. The money will fund a program called College Track at The Durant Center, that will provide support to help disadvantaged students attend college.
"He comes back every year and gives of himself, and that's the great thing about him. I've seen Quinn and Jeff do the same thing, helping out in the community," said Baker. "So we're very proud of all of them, they've done very well."
So with Durant and Cook playing for the Warriors, and Green playing for the Cavaliers, who will the County Executive be cheering for in the NBA Finals?
"I'm rooting for Prince George's County to win," Baker said. "So either way, we're covered!"