Kevin Durant shared co-captain duties with Carmelo Anthony at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and now he shares USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year Award with Anthony, too.
Of the duo, USA Men’s National Team Coach Mike Krzyzewski said, “Along with their amazing talent, Carmelo and Kevin brought experience and veteran steadiness to a team that had 10 first-time Olympians on it. Their leadership, often by example, and ability to handle difficult situations professionally and effectively were huge assets to the 2016 USA Basketball National Team ... I greatly admire both of these men — first as immensely talented basketball players, but even more as better people who are tremendous role models in our sport.”
In terms of leadership, type the words Kevin Durant and leadership into Google and you will be gifted with a cornucopia of glowing reading about the strong character of the Oak Hill Academy alum. Warriors’ fans know all too well that Durant took rookie guard Patrick McCaw under his wing soon after arriving in the Bay, and Durant is also known for his charitable giving off the court. So it makes sense that a combination of qualities and characteristics on and off the court would endear him to Coach K and the other players on the team.
It would be hard to find a better basketball ambassador than Kevin Durant.
On the court at the Rio Olympics, Durant “shot 57.8 percent from the field (52-90 FGs), 58.1 percent from 3-point (25-43 3pt FGs) and 81.3 percent from the line (26-32 FTs).” He also had “the tournament’s best single-game shooting percentage by going 6-of-6 from the field against France on Aug. 14.”
“I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to play for my country, and I tried to go out there and play as hard as I could and represent as much as I can,” Durant said, of the honor. “I’m grateful that I played with such great teammates and a great staff that were able to help me get this award.”
This is Durant’s second USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year Award. He was awarded his first in 2010.
Fun facts on KD’s Rio play
(Source: USA Basketball)
- In the U.S. Olympic single competition record book, he is second only to himself in points (155 in 2016 and 156 in 2012) and 3-point field goals made (25 in 2016 and 34 in 2012).
- Kevin Durant is one of 19 two-time U.S. men’s Olympians and one of 17 to win two gold medals.
- Durant recorded the tournament’s best single-game shooting percentage by going 6-of-6 from the field against France on Aug. 14.
- Three times he led the USA in scoring, including 25 points and six assists against China on Aug. 6, 27 points against Argentina in the quarterfinals on Aug. 17 and 30 points against Serbia in the gold medal game on Aug. 21.
- In the U.S. men’s career Olympic record book, Durant is first in 3-point field goals made (59); second in points (311) and 3-point field goal attempts (108); and third in field goals made (101) and free throws attempted (59).
The entire press release from USA Basketball can be found at https://www.usab.com/news-events/news/2016/12/male-athlete-of-the-year.aspx.