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A Slam-Dunk Surprise

NBA Superstar Kevin Durant Announces Football Scholarship for Terp Walk-on

By Maryland Today Staff

Greg Rose hugs Coach Michael Locksley

Defensive lineman Greg Rose hugs football Head Coach Michael Locksley after NBA star Kevin Durant announced the Terp had been awarded a full scholarship. Durant (below) stopped by the team's meeting for a virtual visit yesterday.

Photos courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Football might not be Kevin Durant’s sport, but the two-time NBA champ and 11-time All-Star was a welcome visitor to Maryland Football’s post-practice team meeting yesterday.

On a screen at the front of the new Jones-Hill House auditorium, Durant’s face popped up via Zoom, prompting an eruption of cheers from starstruck Terps. After the Brooklyn Net, a Prince George’s County native, wished the team good luck this season, he announced an even bigger surprise: a scholarship for walk-on defensive lineman Greg Rose.

Kevin Durant speaks with UMD football team on Zoom

“Everybody in the room, they love you, and what you bring to the team is immeasurable,” Durant said, as Rose’s teammates mobbed him in celebration. “Appreciate you. Hope you enjoy this moment, and have a great, great season.”

Durant’s virtual visit was courtesy of Head Coach Michael Locksley, who invites guest speakers to every preseason camp, including recently retired NFL quarterback Alex Smith, 28-time Olympic medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps and other inspirational athletes. He connected with Durant via Instagram throughout the Team USA member’s gold-medal run during the Tokyo Games, and the pair came up with the scholarship reveal idea.

“Greg’s stats from the games he played last season and what we track in practice proved to us that he earned this,” Locksley told Maryland Today. “More importantly, he exemplifies the pillar words that our program is built on: Toughness in the way that he practices, Effort in the way that he gives his all not only to us but also to his new baby girl and his family, Relentlessness in his playing style and Pride in the name on the front of the jersey.”

After embracing Locksley, an emotional Rose held up his daughter, Rhyland, as the applause continued.

“The scholarship is huge for me financially,” he said in an interview. “It takes a large weight off of my back. Having a baby that you have to buy stuff for, like diapers and wipes—it helps out tremendously. You know where your rent is coming from. You know that you have food on the table.”

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