Durant Grocery Shops with Deserving, Hard-Working Family
Usually Thunder players don’t like to see their fans cry, but on Friday afternoon tears of joy were flowing from eighth grader Kendra Edge and Kevin Durant couldn’t have been happier.
At a Homeland grocery store in Del City, the Thunder forward visited with the Edge family, headed by Rhonda and Anthony, who have two daughters and have taken in two nieces and a nephew. Durant walked around the grocery story with Rhonda, Tatiana, Aaliyah, Kendra, Andre and Angelia, getting to know each member of the family. Within minutes, Durant found out that Kendra has a special place in her Thunder heart for his teammate Russell Westbrook, then decided he would give her a special treat.
As the Thunder’s perennial All-Star was walking up and down the aisles with the family, he slipped his phone out of his pocket and dialed up Westbrook on video chat, then made the introduction to Kendra. Glued to the ground as Westbrook’s face shone through on the screen, Kendra’s hands leapt to cover her mouth and stifle a scream before the tears of happiness started pouring out.
“I started crying!” Kendra said with a laugh as she reminisced later about the moment.
“When I came in, she said Russell Westbrook is her favorite player and she has a big crush on him,” Durant explained. “So I thought it would be cool if I surprised her and put him on Facetime with her. It was good to see her really excited.”
The special moments with Thunder players who give their time and devote themselves to the Oklahoma City community are always poignant and special, which is why even on off days in between road trips or after practices, the Thunder makes the extra effort to give back. For the Edge family, that dedication by the players to give back to those in the area who support the team day-in and day-out was greatly appreciated as a pick-me-up for a family in tough times.
“It was very, very important,” Rhonda Edge said. “I was excited. I couldn’t believe this.”
Rhonda and Anthony are parents to Tatiana and Aaliyah, and have taken in Anthony’s sister’s kids, Kendra, Andre and Angelia recently after tragedy struck the family. Kendra, Andre and Angelia’s mother passed away, then after the three kids moved in with their grandparents, both their grandmother and grandfather passed in short succession.
With love in their hearts, their 28-year-old uncle Anthony took them into his family, as he and Rhonda provide for all five children, which takes even more effort due to Andre, whose cerebral palsy means that at least one family member be there with him at all times.
Obviously a deserving family, the Edge’s were nominated to take part in the Thunder’s Homeland event by the parent education coordinator and district homeless liaison for Del City schools, Heather Johnson.
“These are people who work all the time,” Johnson explained. “Rhonda has two jobs and uncle Anthony works constantly. They do everything right, but they still struggle to make it. They make too much to get assistance. They’re working class poor and are trying to do the right thing, but just needed some help.’’
“This is the difference between being able to make it, pay bills on time, stay in your house and have some stability, and not,” Johnson said. “This means absolutely everything. Food is one of those things that is so insecure. We have so many kids who are not stable in that area. To have this, it takes so much pressure off of everything else.”
As with everyone who meets him and other Thunder players, the Edge family got a chance to see Kevin Durant’s kindhearted nature and how genuine he is with those from all walks of life. Strolling around the store with a family picking out food that will last the Edge family for weeks, Durant thought back to times when he used to do the same thing with his family.
“It’s fun just being around a family that is so tight knit and close,” Durant said. “It reminds me a lot of my family growing up, especially coming here going grocery shopping like I used to do with my mom and my brother.”