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No White House, no problem: Warriors enjoy their history lesson with Seat Pleasant kids

‘The energy was exactly what we were trying to accomplish with the day’

Asked his favorite moment during his team’s trip the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr recalled being warmly greeted by an 8-year-old boy, Ryan.

“I’m talking to him and he goes, ‘Oh, my God, there’s Quinn Cook,’ and he ran to Quinn Cook,” Kerr said referring to Cook, a D.C. native who’s with the Warriors on a two-way contract. “Not Steph [Curry]. He loved Quinn Cook. That was cool.”

After a shootaround in preparation for Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards, the Warriors were still talking about their day off in D.C. spent not with the president but with kids from Kevin Durant’s hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland.

“That was my first time there, and to be with kids from my neighborhood, it was pretty cool,” said Durant, who left the museum tour early to travel to Suitland High School and officially announce his $10 million contribution to an educational program in Prince George’s County. “I felt like a kid there as well, learning new things about our culture.”

The reason the Warriors spent the day at the museum and not at the White House is well-documented. Curry made some critical comments about President Donald Trump in September and said he wasn’t likely to make the White House trip. When the president heard about Curry’s remarks — and before the team had made a decision — the Warriors were disinvited from the White House via tweet.

The Warriors opted to make the museum visit, giving themselves an educational experience that they were able to share with local kids.

“The energy was exactly what we were trying to accomplish with the day,” said Curry, who had been critical of the president even before his comments in September. “I think it turned out great.”

Curry was asked what he’s learned from the time he was targeted by the president until now.

“How unifying it’s been and with the conversation about how sports has mingled in with, not just politics, the change in society,” Curry said. “Rhetoric and hate and general disdain from the top — in general, trying to be divisive — has had the opposite reaction than what was intended.”

Since the president lashed out at Curry in September, NBA players, especially Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, appear to have rallied around various causes and issues.

“We’ve done our part to further the message,” Curry said. “As guys around the league understand the power of their voice and know that others have their back … that’s healthy. That’s what we’re all trying to accomplish.”

Kerr has admired what he’s witnessed from his team and what he’s seen from around the NBA.

“I’m proud of this league,” said Kerr, who has also spoken up about the current state of affairs. “It’s unbelievable what Kevin’s doing — last month it was $3 million to the University of Texas, and now it’s $10 million to College Track. So many guys on every team are really doing positive things. They understand their impact on communities.”

Jerry Bembry is a senior writer at Andscape. His bucket list items include being serenaded by Lizz Wright and watching the Knicks play a MEANINGFUL NBA game in June.