One of the NBA’s biggest stars is now directly involved with Kansas City’s AAU basketball scene.
Kevin Durant, the former NBA MVP and current member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, has signed on to be an official sponsor of MOKAN Elite, a Kansas City-based AAU basketball program that has produced such players as Alec Burks, Willie Cauley-Stein, Willie Reed and Semi Ojeleye. Durant and MOKAN announced the news Thursday.
Durant will lend his name and brand to the AAU program, which competes in Nike’s Elite Youth Basketball League, one of the most prestigious AAU circuits in the country. Durant has a longtime affiliation with Nike; he signed a megadeal to remain a representative of the company in 2014.
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“We’re incredibly fortunate and excited,” said Matt Suther, MOKAN’s Founder and current Program Director. “This will give us an opportunity to do some really special things for kids, not only in Kansas City, but throughout the region.”
While MOKAN is based out of the Kansas City metro area, its roster has included players from Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, where Durant’s presence looms large as the state’s biggest sports star.
MOKAN Elite is poised to have one of the best AAU teams in the country next season. The roster will include Columbia’s Michael Porter, Jr., a top-five recruit in the class of 2017, and Trae Young, a Norman, Okla., native who projects as one of the top point guards in the class of 2017. Durant joins a list of current and former NBA players who help operate and sponsor AAU programs across the country. The list includes LeBron James and Chris Paul, among others.