Through it all, Durant has remained humble and gracious. He has maintained a presence at his annual summer basketball camp for Oklahoma City-area boys and girls, and he insisted that less-heralded teammates Thabo Sefolosha and Nenad Krstic appear with him on a recent cover of Sports Illustrated.
â€œPlaying this game of basketball, you're going to receive a lot of trophies and awards,â€ Durant said. â€œTo have Oklahoman of the Year kind of stands out to me. It's a lot more than just a basketball award. It shows that I've come a long way as a person, as a player.â€
A close-up shot of Durant graces the cover of Oklahoma Today. A photo within the cover story has a shot of Durant cupping a pile of Oklahoma red dirt. The issue will arrive to subscribers starting Saturday and will appear on newsstands at the beginning of January. The article can be read in its entirety on the magazine's website.
The magazine has been naming an Oklahoman of the Year since 1992, when it awarded Garth Brooks the honor. Other honorees include Olympian Shannon Miller and astronaut Shannon Lucid (1996), music stars Toby Keith (2003), Carrie Underwood (2005) and Vince Gill (2007) and Thunder chairman Clay Bennett (2008).
â€œI can't put into words how cool it is to be here,â€ Durant said. â€œI'm happy I'm here. God has put me in a great place because it's the perfect place for me.â€