9:15am PT by Ashley Lee
Kevin Durant's Mother on MVP Tribute: 'Never Give Up, Always Put Children First' (Video)
After Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant was named NBA's MVP -- and made a moving speech thanking his teammates, coaches and, most emotionally, his mother, Wanda Pratt -- Pratt spoke with Today on Thursday to reflect on her son's touching words.
"I expected him to mention me, but I didn't know it would be to that magnitude,'' she said from Oklahoma City of the now-viral speech. "That day I got over 150 texts from friends and family. I was just really overwhelmed. I was really surprised by all of it. It was just a pleasant surprise. He just really kind of messed me up with that one."
She also had a few words for fellow single mothers. "My advice is to never give up, to always put your children first, to always commit yourself to their dreams, their aspirations and their goals even when it gets hard,'' Pratt said. "When you have those lonely nights when you're crying to yourself, just remember that it's for them, and they will get that, they will receive that. I've realized that's what children really want. They want to know that their parents are 100 percent behind them, and they'll give you everything that you expect."
During his speech, Durant shed a few tears while thanking his mother for her constant support. "The odds were stacked against us -- single parent with two boys by the time you were 21 years old," Durant said. "Everybody told us we weren't supposed to be here. We moved from apartment to apartment by ourselves. One of the best memories I had was when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture, and we just all sat in a room and just hugged each other. We thought we'd made it."
"You made us believe," he continued. "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."
Watch Durant's emotional tribute to his mother (beginning at 2:55), as well as her response on Today, below: