Originally written on Bonfire Impact  |  Last updated 5/24/13
The tornado may have brought destruction, but basketball player Kevin Durant brought the thunder in giving $1 million towards relief efforts in Oklahoma. On Monday, May 20th, Oklahoma was devastated by a tornado that  ripped across the ground for 17 miles in 40 minutes; and was later revealed as a top-of-the-scale EF5 twister with winds reaching 200mph. At least 24 people are dead, including nine children, and still many loved ones are missing within the twister’s path of destruction. The financial need will be monumental after 2,400 homes were destroyed and an elementary school became nothing but debris and rubble. Many homes’ roofs were caved in, garages were gone, cars were twisted about, and walls were complete rubble.  You could barely make out what was what. “It doesn’t seem real.  It looks like a bomb hit it,” said Durant. Insurance claims will probably reach $1 billion, said  Oklahoma Insurance Commission’s rep Kelly Collins. But the city and state are ready to move forward in high hope, especially with the support coming in. Governor Mary Fallin told the press, “We will get through this.  We will overcome.  We will rebuild and we will regain our strength.” And luckily, Oklahoma is not alone in this trying time. “I call Oklahoma City my home.  I go through [the city of] Moore all the time.  It’s unfortunate.  We’re going to come together as a city like we always do and we’re going to bounce back,” Durant told The Associated Press. On Wednesday, Durant traveled to Oklahoma with his brother Tony and close friend Randy Williams to add to his donation.  His financial contribution was beyond gratifying, but his invested time to the community was breath-taking.  “Awesome, just awesome,” one person commented about Durant being there, signing autographs and conversing with every person out there, never turning a single person down. Durant had a message for Oklahoma’s survivors that was too intimate to just be made on TV, Twitter, or Facebook.  He had a message he wanted to make face-to-face to survivors. “We’re not just here to play basketball [meaning his team and himself].  We really are embedded in the community, invested in the community.  That’s the best part about it.  It’s going to change here soon.  We just got to stick together as a community.” Durant made it known that he and his teammates are not just here to entertain, but to embrace a community in times of ups and downs. Durant made $16.6 million last year and will go on to make $17.8 million next year.  Such numbers only live in most people’s dreams, but for athletes it is attainable, and his generosity is just like his ball game– rare and extraordinary. Even with two pro teams in the New Orleans area, no $1 million donation was made after Hurricane Katrina except by NFL quarterback Drew Brees, according to founder and president of the Give Back Fund Marc Pollick, who works with celebrities and athletes in identifying philanthropic endeavors. Durant did not parade his generosity, instead the American Red Cross did and they believe it will create an incentive and model to follow after. And it has… The NBA & the NBA Players’ Association has pledged $1 million, Oklahoma City’s Thunder $1 million, Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford, who is from Oklahoma City, is leading an aid effort in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay has pledged to match all donations up to $25,000. Even outside sports, people are helping. Philanthropist Joyce Meyers’ Hand of Hope campaign has drove two trucks filled with 70,000 pounds of water and supplies into Oklahoma this morning; as well as many other local and national groups helping financially, physically, or doing both as Durant did. And YOU can help in the support by donating $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 or by calling 1-800-733-2767. Oklahoma is filled with heroes who saved lives this week, and now they need YOUR help.  Open your hearts, and then your wallets for something beyond yourself. For more coverage on this story, click on the links below. CNN News OK New York Daily News   Photo courtesy of Keith Allison
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Arizona Cardinals make Jen Welter first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Junior Seau family says Hall of Fame went back on its word

Kobe will probably see time at power forward next year

Angels acquire Shane Victorino from the Red Sox

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clemson's Swinney wants Notre Dame in a conference

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel as Browns starter

David Price won't rule out Red Sox despite testy past

Bullying victim Jonathan Martin retiring from NFL

Why Jay Gruden may lose job if he can’t fix Robert Griffin III

Report: T.Y. Hilton wants similar contract to Dez Bryant

Nick Saban has incredible advice for his players on chasing girls

Nik Stauskas trolls Thad Matta

Will Smith fires back at former teammate Junior Galette

Sammy Watkins: It's a "problem" if Bills don't win AFC East

The most important quarterback in the game?

Boston Mayor Walsh refusing to sign Olympic host contract

Chris Johnson accused of smashing up Rolls-Royce rental

Astros’ playoff push prompts rescheduling of Taylor Swift

Answering the AFC East's biggest questions in 2015

Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

College football's top 10 coaches on the hot seat for 2015

Was Gregg Popovich close to retiring last year?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Galette appears to unload on Payton

Dez Bryant in 'financial distress' before signing new deal

Top 10 CFB coaches on the hot seat

Was Popovich close to retiring last year?

Kyle Busch continues historic run with Brickyard win

WATCH: Mike Trout HR lands in 'Trout Net'

With Cueto dealt, what's the market for other pitchers?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker