Kevin Durant had plenty of people to thank when he took home the NBA's MVP award Tuesday night: his teammates, his coaches, the Oklahoma City Thunder fans who rally for him night after night.
But the 25-year-old forward reserved his highest praise for the woman he considers the MVP in his own life: his mom, Wanda Pratt, who raised Durant and older brother Anthony by herself in a Maryland suburb just outside of Washington D.C.
“I don’t think you know what you did,” he said, as his tearful mom looked on. “You had my brother when you were 18-years-old. Three years later I came out. The odds were stacked against us -- a single parent with two boys by the time you were 21 years old.”
“Everybody told us we weren’t supposed to be here, we moved from apartment to apartment by ourselves,” Durant continued. “One my best memories I have is when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture, we all just sat in the living room and just hugged each other, because we thought we made it.”
“You wake me up in the middle of the night in the summertimes, making me run up a hill, making me do push-ups, screaming at me from the sidelines of my games at eight- or nine-years-old,” he said. “We wasn’t supposed to be here. You made us believe, you kept us off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You’re the real MVP.”
A day after hearing her son's heartfelt 25-minute speech, Pratt told ABC News she was still a little shaken up.
"I think I may have to wear shades to the game tonight because I have been crying ever since,” said Pratt, who separated from the NBA star's father shortly after Durant was born. “It was unbelievable -- I am on cloud nine this morning.”
Watch the video below for the full speech (start at 23:30 to see his tribute to his mom).