Yes, my husband’s name is Kevin. However, this entry isn’t about him. But … he does know this Kevin.
VERBATIM phone conversation from 5 PM, Tuesday, May 6, 2014:
Me: Mom, remember Kevin from church. The NBA player that hugged you the first time I took you guys to Hillsong?
Mom: Yes! He was so nice. Plays in Oklahoma. Dad said he’s good.
Me: Turn on channel 206 now, he’s on, he’s been named NBA MVP, he’s about to speak.
Mom: That means he’s the best player in the leauge. The best. Best in the world.
Mom: See, because he goes to church, loves his mom & hugged me!
In June 2013, I found a new church in Hillsong NYC. @hillsongNYC Long story. I’ll tell it some day. In a nut shell, I’ve been searching for a home church since I graduated college. Long time. Okay … so I found it … and excitedly took my parents the following Sunday. I was also sitting with my friend Darwin @PandaSal and he suddenly hit me during the singing/concert part of the service and said, “That’s Durant.” As …. well …. Kevin Durant sat in front of us. I turned to my parents and all my dad did was descritely point and nod. My mom, didn’t know, and I leaned in and simply said, “Mom, that’s Kevin Durant, he plays basketball for the Oklahoma City Thunder, I’ve interviewed him a few times. Great kid. Loves his mom. She’s at all his home games.”
Checking out his surroundings, Durant turned around. I gave a little wave and he leaned in. I said, “Kevin, I’m Tina …” and started going into my resume, because it was dark, I actually didn’t interview him in a while since ABC snatches all our Knicks vs OKC games, and he stopped me and said, “From the Knicks!” My mom was holding my arm and I quickly said, “This is my mom.” Durant immediatly leaned in and gave her a little hug with his long arms … the kind of “akward lean-in” that only a 6’10” world class athlete can give a 5’4″ lifelong teacher & educator. That’s Kevin Durant.
I relived that hug he gave my mom, with each mini thank you speech he gave to every one of the other 14 players on the Thunder roster, as he spoke after recieving the 2013-14 Kia NBA MVP award. Giving each of his teammates that same hug with his words. Grateful. Humble. Loving.
Almost one year later, I came to truly realize why he did embrace my mom … when he went into the most incredible tribute, to his mother. “…my mom… You’re the real MVP.”
Later in the that church service, we get 4 minutes to socialize, meet the people around us. Durant immediately turned around, and wrapped his 7’4″ wingspan around Maria Cervasio, again. That’s Kevin Durant. NBA MVP. 5-Time NBA All-Star. 4-time Scoring Champion. Rookie of the Year. Olympic Gold Medalist. KD. Son.
To my mom… he’s “Kevin from church.”