For players in the United States, the college basketball circuit acts as a stepping stone. Several players earn their names in basketball by putting on outstanding performances throughout their collegiate careers. However, what Kevin Durant accomplished in 2006 is easily regarded as historic.
Durant was regarded as one of the greatest high school prospects in the country. He played for the National Christian Academy, Oak Hill Academy, and Montrose Christian School. He decided to play under Rick Barnes at the University of Texas, although he only did so for the 2006–2007 season before entering the NBA draft.
When the Toronto Raptors had the first overall draft pick in 2006, KD wanted to play for them. The reason for his choice was Vince Carter as Kevin deeply admired him. Durant had to enroll in college and play for at least one season of collegiate basketball. He had to do that according to the one-and-done rule. For the two-time NBA champion who, in one season, lit up the college basketball scene, this ended up being good news.
The long perimeter scorer had excellent dribbling abilities and a remarkable ability to score, which are still traits of Durant today. In college, he recorded seven games with at least four blocks and 20 double-doubles. He was a unanimous first-team All-American. His No. 35 was retired by the Texas Longhorns in 2009 as an homage to his late coach.
Kevin Durant played his only season of collegiate basketball for the University of Texas
At the University of Texas, Kevin Durant, at 18 years old, played basketball for the Texas Longhorns. The Texas Longhorns, who competed in the Big 12 Conference, aimed to build on their success from the previous season when they won the conference. And they nearly succeeded, falling short against the Kansas Jayhawks by only two games.
For the Texas Longhorns in the 2006–07 collegiate season, Durant, who had reached a height of 6 ft 9, averaged 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Texas had an overall record of 25-10 and a conference record of 12-4 at the end of the season.
Durant reached amazing heights while playing for the underrated Longhorns with his inherent scoring skills. Here are some accolades Kevin Durant received while still in college:
- The Big 12 scoring leader in 2007 with 28.9 points per game
- Big 12 Player of the Year in 2007 and First Team All-American by Consensus
- National Freshman of the Year for 2007
- The first freshman in NCAA history to win any of the major National Player of the Year awards in 2007
Despite Kevin Durant’s 30-point and 9-rebound effort, Texas lost to USC in the second round after defeating New Mexico State in the first round. Durant won the John R. Wooden Award, the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, and all eight other prestigious medals and trophies, and was named the undisputed national player of the year for his tremendous performance.