It’s the season of giving back, and the NBA family will be doing just that. Retired player Charles Barkley and current player Kevin Durant are set to contribute heavily to HBCU institutions.
Yesterday (Dec. 12), the Brooklyn Nets small forward from the DMV said his Durant Family Foundation will be donating $500,000 to Bowie State University, Maryland’s oldest historically Black college.
“We are dedicated to providing resources and possibilities to students for higher education, especially in Prince George’s County,” said Wanda Durant, who leads the foundation. “Bowie State was the perfect place to make a meaningful impact.”
Durant was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Prince George’s County, the same place where BSU is located.
According to the BSU Bulldog News, the donation will go towards renovations of the university’s basketball arena in the Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex. Renovations will include the installation of a new basketball court, expansion of seating capacity and upgrades to the press box area. Additionally, the funds will provide financial support for men’s and women’s basketball and university athletics programs, and will establish a scholarship for Durant Center College Track students who attend Bowie State.
Meanwhile, Barkley announced over the weekend that he’ll be giving $1 million each to Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida and Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. Barkley, who is a NBA Hall-of-Famer, said his donations will go towards ALS research in the name of former Auburn teammate Gary Godfrey, who was diagnosed with the disease in January 2019.
Jackson State had no clue of Barkley’s donation until they discovered it via social media.
“We are very thankful and look forward to working with Mr. Barkley to facilitate this generous gift,” Yolanda Owens, interim vice president for institutional advancement, said Monday to the Clarion Ledger. “We appreciate his acknowledgement of Jackson State University and the great work that goes on at our institution. Because of his generosity, JSU will have an opportunity to support institutional priorities at a greater level and continue the efforts to elevate the university.”
According to AL.com, Barkley chose to donate to JSU “because of what Deion means to me as a friend,” he said. “They’re probably gonna take a little hit with him leaving, so I want to show them some love because, man, what he accomplished there was pretty extraordinary.”