NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Kevin Durant, who led the United States to their first world championship title in 16 years, has been selected as the 2010 USA Basketball male athlete of the year.
“It means a lot,” Durant, 22, said Wednesday in a statement released by USA Basketball. “My goal was to represent my country to the best of my ability.
“I really appreciate all of the coaches and players that I got to share that experience with. I am very humbled by this honor.”
Forward Durant won the world championship’s Most Valuable Player award, averaging 22.8 points per game while shooting 55.6 percent from the field and 44.6 percent from three-point range. In the absence of household names such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, he emerged as his team’s most inspirational figure and scored 28 points in the tournament final on Sept. 12 when the U.S. beat hosts Turkey 81-64.
“Kevin brought maturity and a winning mindset to every practice and every game last summer,” said U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He was a critical part of our success, and his team mates wanted him to have the ball in critical situations.