The road to superstardom is a long one, but most of the time it’s the actual ride that makes the story one worth telling over and over. Kevin Durant’s hometown has played a major role in his unique persona as the most approachable and relatable superstar in all of sports, and it’s through his signature shoes with Nike Basketball that he gets to tell us about his past in a unique way. As KD says, we’re always looking at what’s on players’ feet, and for the last five years, basketball fans have watched KD go from a spindly scorer to one of the best in the game while navigating through an impressive evolution of his signature sneakers. Although KD is a five-position player on both ends of the court, his wants and needs in a hoop shoe are rather basic – lightweight, good cushioning, and lockdown. These three elements, combined with the concept of Precision Watches and the heartbeat of his hometown of have resulted in the Nike KD VI – born in Beaverton, OR, but with an origin in Seat Pleasant, MD.
Nike Basketball invited Sneaker News to travel the depths of the Nike KD VI in an unveiling event in Durant’s hometown of Seat Pleasant, MD. Media outlets from thirteen different countries around the globe arrived in a city relatively unknown outside of its state’s walls, and by day’s end a feeling of “home” settled in and the story of Kevin’s success and the new Nike KD VI was told in completion. Nike Basketball laid out a full-length tour that began with a sneaker unveiling, continued with a tour of the city, and ended with an illustrious panel of accomplished athletes and individuals – a jam-packed day that left no detail behind. The diverse group was an accurate reflection of KD’s global esteem as an international star, but the KD VI honed in on the genesis of it all. Sneaker News invites you to experience the Nike KD VI launch event below through a photo-journal we’ve laid out for you , so take a look and stay tuned for more as a full preview of upcoming colorways, the KD NSW, a product wear-test, and an interview with designer Leo Chang are coming soon.
The Nike KD VI Supreme “DC Preheat” launches at Nikestore and select House of Hoops retailers this Saturday, June 29th.
The Nike KD VI “Seat Pleasant” launches globally on Wednesday, July 3rd.
A big thanks to Kevin Durant and family, the city of Seat Pleasant, MD, and Nike Basketball for this great event.
KEVIN DURANT – THIS IS YOUR LIFE
The event kicked off with a first stop at the Seat Pleasant Activity Center. A KD-centric showcase was on display with glass cases housing Durant’s greatest accomplishments and media accolades giving the media a thorough summary of Durant’s illustrious career. At just 24 years old, it’s astounding to see such a wide display of achievements at every level of the game, but what’s more gripping is that Durant’s career isn’t even a third of the way through. Opposite the showcase was a time-line of the Nike KD signature line, which sprouted from their partnership that first began in 2007.
INTRODUCING THE NIKE KD VI
Sports writer and DC resident Michael Wilbon acted as the host of the first portion of the media unveiling, with guests Kevin Durant, Nike Basketball Designer Leo Chang, and KD’s mother Wanda Pratt mapping out the road to the KD VI. With three distinct vantage points offered by the signature athlete, caring mother, and talented designer, the overall concept and significance of Kevin’s latest shoe was covered on all angles. However, we were only making our way through the first leg of this day-long journey, because the next portion of the day would take us through the streets of Seat Pleasant, making stops at some landmarks of paramount importance.
“We’ve never had this big a crowd on grandma’s porch!” – Tony Pratt, Kevin’s older brother
The first stop on the KD tour was Grandma’s house, where Durant spent most of his childhood playing with toys, thinking about basketball, and being taught firm family values. Wanda, who was quickly overcome with emotion, recalled the times when his son played with toy cars on the front porch, drawing up basketball plays for hours on end. While the family no longer lives in that house, the Durant/Pratt family make frequent visits to be reminded of their roots. On the way to Grandma’s House, we drove by the outdoor courts where KD, as a young teen, played against fully grown ballers. There he learned to adapt to physical play, rainy weather, and elevated competition.
KING OF THE HILL
The Hill isn’t just a street in Seat Pleasant. It’s right by where his late Aunt Pearl used to reside, and as Durant painfully recalls, it’s where he spent many hours doing some high-octane cardio conditioning. In typical brotherly fashion, Kevin and Tony raced up the hill the moment they reached the base, and even after one heat, the arduous climb and humid DC climate caused both to break some sweat. His old coach Taras “Stink” Brown recalled the many times he put Durant through some tough training, but clearly it paid off.
SEAT PLEASANT, A CITY OF EXCELLENCE
If you didn’t catch on just yet, Durant’s takes tremendous pride in his hometown of Seat Pleasant, MD. It’s where he was molded into one of the best ballers on the planet, but KD isn’t the only DC product that has taken his/her talents to the highest of highs. Joining Durant, Leo, and Wanda were Women’s Basketball star and sports broadcaster Kara Lawson, and Team USA footballer Oguchi Onyewu, who plays professionally in France; this star-studded panel lay extremely humble – an unsurprising character trait held by the citizens of this city. To close out the event, Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene Grant handed to KD a Key to the City.
Stay tuned for more on the Nike KD VI and the Media Event out here in Seat Pleasant, MD.