COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 15, 2010) – After helping the USA earn a 9-0 record and the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and taking home tournament MVP honors in the process, Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) today was announced as the 2010 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.
“It means a lot,” Durant said. “My goal was to represent my country to the best of my ability. I really appreciate all of the coaches and players that I got to share that experience with. I am very humbled by this honor.”
Durant averaged a team-best and U.S. World Championship scoring record 22.8 points per game to help lead the USA to the FIBA World Championship gold medal Aug. 28 – Sept. 12 in Istanbul, Turkey. Named MVP of the tournament, he also was a member of the five-person All-World Championship Team.
“Kevin brought maturity and a winning mindset to every practice and every game last summer,” said Mike Krzyzewski, USA Men’s National Team and Duke University head coach. “He was a critical part of our success, and his teammates wanted him to have the ball in critical situations. They knew he’d deliver, and he did repeatedly. Despite his level of accomplishment at such a young age, Kevin wants to be a better player at both ends of the court. He’s motivated, and there’s no ceiling on his game. He’s a very special player and deserving of any honors he receives.”
Durant will be submitted for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2010 SportsMan of the Year Award, which is expected to be announced in January. The selection was made by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.
“Kevin’s performance during the FIBA World Championship was incredible,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO. “He set several U.S. World Championship records, and was an integral part of our young team. USA Basketball is proud of Kevin and the entire team’s effort.”
Starting in all nine games played, Durant also contributed 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game in a team-high 28.2 minutes per game. He shot a sizzling 55.6 percent from the field (74-133 FGs), 44.6 percent from 3-point (26-57 3pt FGs) and 91.2 percent from the free throw line (31-34 FTs).