Kevin Durant Gets Nike's Help in Supporting Moore's Tornado Relief Effort

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 24, 2013

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 11:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in action during Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on May 11, 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kevin Durant didn't need the rigorous travel schedule of the NBA to see this country from all angles.

His life story spans the nation.

Before he was a three-time scoring champion, four-time All-Star and NBA Finals MVP runner-up (O.K. I made that last part up, but have you seen his stats from the 2012 championship series?), he was wreaking havoc on the playgrounds of our nation's capital.

He suited up for three different schools during his high school days (via, Maryland's Montrose Christian School and National Christian Academy, as well as the Virginia hoops factory Oak Hill Academy. Then he took his talents to Austin, Texas, playing one season of college ball under Longhorns coach Rick Barnes.

The Seattle SuperSonics snagged the scoring savant with the second pick of the 2007 NBA draft. After one season in Seattle, Durant then followed the franchise to Oklahoma City.

And that's where he's made his home for the five past five years, a stone's throw away from Moore, Okla. The city saw a devastating tornado (the Associated Press) sweep through its heart on Monday that claimed the lives of 24 people, damaged some 13,000 homes and caused an estimated $2 billion-plus in damage.

Oklahoma City's adopted son visited its shattered suburb on Wednesday (via Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman), providing whatever relief he could in the form of autographs, pictures and hugs. This coming on the heels of the financial relief, $1 million, he'd given just a day before.

But still he felt the need to do even more to help his reeling neighbors, so he reached out to one of his corporate backers for even more support (via his official Twitter feed):

And his sponsor, Nike, answered his call. The company pledged to donate $1 million worth of its products to those affected by the storm, then offered an equal split of all of the profits from Oklahoma City KD V Elites sold on its web site between May 23 and June 15 between Kaboom (a national charity that rebuilds playgrounds) and the Moore Public School Foundation (via

The people of Moore have another adopted son coming to their sides. Chicago native and All-Defensive first-teamer Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies is set to join the relief effort.

The American Red Cross will be collecting donations at the next two Western Conference finals games between the Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs. And Allen, a former Oklahoma State Cowboy, will be matching those contributions (via The Associated Press).

Some star athletes don't know how to handle the limelight. Or they use their celebrity status to cash in on everything they feel is owed to them.

But Durant, an unassuming, humble star near the top of his sport, took full advantage of his far-reaching influence to do everything in his power to bring as much support to his community as possible.

Even with that community only being part of his life for five of his 24 years.