Wanda Durant, mom of area native and NBA superstar Kevin Durant, is getting a special gift this Mother’s Day: Her own movie.
Who doesn’t remember those tear-jerking minutes during the tail end of Durant’s 2014 MVP acceptance speech when the Oklahoma City Thunder player recalled the sacrifices his mother made for him and his older brother growing up? The 6-foot-9 power forward ended by dubbing his mom “the real MVP.” Memes were born, but also (almost unsurprisingly) a Lifetime channel movie.
“The Real MVP: The Wanda Durant Story” premieres at 8 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, exactly two years after Durant uttered those same words in tribute to his mom on national television.
“The primary thing that I really wanted to show is life’s ups and downs,” Wanda Durant said of her small-screen moment. “Never quitting and always believing that you will succeed for you and your children, that’s the message I want to come across more than anything.”
Since that original 2014 meeting with Queen Latifah’s production team in Hollywood, Durant, who is originally from Prince George’s County, and still lives in the area, has had a front-row seat to the movie-making process from script consulting to casting and watching “the dailies” during principal shooting in Vancouver.
Directed by Nelson George, the story follows Wanda Durant as a single mom living in Maryland with two talented, basketball-loving sons, whom she pushes to do great things.
“I always believed that my sons would be successful and that I would experience success myself. But this? This is a surprise to me,” Durant said.
And the pleasant surprises keep coming. Durant attended President Obama’s last White House correspondents dinner last week and met Whoopi Goldberg, Helen Mirren, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
But this Saturday, Durant plans to watch “The Real MVP” at home, completely sans glitz. The kids will be out of town and the film’s New York premiere will have already happened, so the former teen mom will get the chance to take it all in.
“I’m a little nervous,” said Durant, “but I’m enjoying the moment.”