Three times a week, Stein hopped in his car for the 1-hour drive over to Durant's place. He'd pick him up, bring him to a local gym, send him through the grinder and then get him a nutritious meal.
“It was tough,” Durant said. “But I continued to do it, continued to get bigger and get better. Gained a lot of weight.”
It worked so well that, for his senior season, Durant transferred to Montrose Christian, where he'd be closer to friends and able to work out more regularly with Stein, who was the strength coach there.
The dividends were immediate. Durant gained 20 pounds his senior year, bulking up to around 205 and rapidly rising up the recruiting ranks.
He then moved on to Texas and eventually the NBA, where Stein maintained contact, working him out occasionally when he was back home for a couple years.
“He was a very influential person in my life for those two or three years, on and off the court,” Durant said. “He did a great job of telling me what my body needs as far as foods and what times I need to eat, what parts of the day. … I still do the things he tells me to this day.”
Today, the two stay in touch. They'll text back and forth, see each other a couple of times during the year. And the mutual respect is obvious.
Durant, who is up to 235 pounds and has always played stronger than he looks, used those initial workouts to build a strong foundation. And Stein, who can now use Durant's success and kinds words as a resume booster, has been able to watch one of his favorite pupils ascend to superstar status.
“His rise has been unbelievable,” Stein said. “And I'm very content with being in the background and knowing that I played a very, very tiny role in his development when he was younger. There's a list of people who have helped Kevin and been good to Kevin and he shows so much gratitude to me and everyone else. He's as classy as a guy who you'd ever meet in any walk of life.”