ASHBURN, Va. — Kevin Durant was among those in attendance for the second open practice of the Washington Commanders’ training camp on Friday.
The NBA star who now plays for the Phoenix Suns grew up in the Seat Pleasant, Maryland area, not far from the team’s stadium. Durant practiced on the hottest day of the year so far from the suites atop the newly built bleachers on the sideline and was followed by a bevy of fans, many of whom took photos or videos and chanted, “KD! “
“It’s great to have KD here,” coach Ron Rivera said after practice. “I know that he is a local boy. I know what a fan he is of the Washington Redskins/Commanders. Great to have your support.”
Durant’s presence is the latest positive sign of the Commanders in the spotlight since the new ownership group led by Josh Harris and including basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson took over last week, when the The NFL approved the sale of Dan Snyder for $6.05 billion.
“It’s great to have the fan base back,” Rivera said. “This has been really great the last few days. Has. This is exciting. Guys like KD coming back and showing their support means a lot to us.”
Friday marked the second day in a row that more than 3,000 fans braved the heat to practice at the team’s practice facility not far from Dulles International Airport.
“It feels good,” safety Kam Curl said. “Everyone comes to practice, all the social media stuff. You feel the excitement, and that motivates us to go out there and play harder.”
Running back Jaret Patterson, like Durant, a Maryland native, said Thursday that seeing so many fans at practice reminded him of his childhood days attending camp when the lines of Clinton Portis and Santana Moss played for Washington.
“It’s a new beginning, a new era,” Patterson said. “It gave me memories. … Seeing the food trucks, seeing a packed house and things like that, it’s kind of silly. It’s like reliving my childhood.”
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