Durant Likes Western Flavor

Kevin Durant is coming off a summer in which he cemented his value as one of the elite players in the junior class. Now he's off to Oak Hill Academy, where he's bound to get even better under coach Steve Smith.

Kevin Durant is headed to Mouth of Wilson, as in Oak Hill Academy (Va.).

The 6-8, 190-pound junior forward has decided to spend his final two years of high school playing for Warriors coach Steve Smith in an effort to make sure he's prepared for college – both athletically and academically.

``I'm really looking forward to it," said Durant, who played his first two seasons at National Christian (Md.). ``I'm going more for academics, because I didn't do that well my freshman year."

Durant will also concentrate on his top deficiency right now, which is getting stronger.

Durant is coming off an impressive summer in which he cemented his standing as one of the elite players in the Class of 2006.

``I was pretty happy with it, but I still could have played a little better," he said.

Durant fared well enough that the whispers about him going directly to the NBA have already raised a decibel. However, he's ending any speculation – at least for now.

``I've heard it, but that's all it is right now – rumors," Durant said. "I'm just trying to get ready for college and get my degree. If it comes up, I'll talk to my parents."

Durant said that the one player he was most impressed with this summer was Athens High (Ala.) 6-8, 250-pound senior power forward Richard Hendrix.

``He's so dominant in the post," Durant said. "When we played against him at camp, he abused our post men. Nobody could stop him and when it was my chance to guard him, I had to foul him."

Durant said that he'll really get started on the recruiting process when he gets to Oak Hill, but for now his co-leaders are Texas and Arizona. The Wildcats are the lone school on his list of favorites, which also includes Duke, North Carolina, Louisville, Georgia Tech and Kentucky, to offer a scholarship.

``I really like west coast schools and the way they run their offense," he added.

``I'd like to leave Maryland," Durant reiterated. "There are a lot of distractions here in Maryland and I really don't want to go through that. I'm looking for a great atmosphere, somewhere that has a family-type atmosphere."

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