Top 10 Things You Should Know About Stephen Curry The NBA Player
2015 has been quite a year for Stephen Curry. The Golden State Warrior’s key player has led his team to the NBA championship, been crowned NBA MVP and welcomed a second daughter into his family, a stunning set of achievements by any stretch of the imagination.
Aged just 27, this young man is now so influential that the shoe company he endorses saw their sales rise by over 700% but what do people know about the man who stands behind the MVP award, the man in the number 30 jersey. We have put together a list of 10 things you should know about this rising star of the NBA, the man who some are claiming has such an extraordinary talent that he might be the best player of all time. Is it hype? We will let you read our points and decide for yourself.
Stephen Curry Was Born In Ohio To A Basketball Family.
Stephen Curry was born in Akron Ohio in 1988 to a high profile sporting family. His father, Dell played basketball for the Charlotte Hornets for most of his career, only retiring in 2002. His mother, Sonya was a volleyball player. His brother Seth plays for the Sacramento Kings following a college career at Duke and his sister Sydel plays volleyball for Elon University.
Dell used to take Stephen (whose real name is Wardell Stephen Curry II (after his father) to his games on weekends (the boys were not allowed to go during the week as their parents were keen that they not automatically assume that basketball was the only path in life) where the boys were allowed to warm up with the team. Dell Curry played in a number 30 and both his sons play that number today. The relationship between all members of the family is very close and mutually supportive. The Curry children spent most of their youth, other than a short stint in Toronto, in Charlotte and even when Stephen left home to go to college he was only a few miles up the road in Davidson (see below).
Stephen Curry pays particular tribute to his father saying that he ultimately chose a career in Basketball (he was also a good baseball player and golfer) because he wanted to be like his father. The father in turn is incredibly proud of his sons whose career might even eclipse his own. He has said that praise for his own achievements is flattering but that it is better still to ‘watch my sons play now, imagining they could end up being better than I ever thought about being’.
Stephen Curry Had A good High School Record.
Stephen Curry played all through high school. During his father’s two year stint with the Toronto Raptors he took his Queensway Christian College grade 7 and 8 basketball team (which had previously performed rather poorly) through an undefeated season. What was even more surprising was that he was tiny at the time, even for 7 and 8 grade, coming in at just 5’5”.
When Dell Curry’s two year contract in Toronto was up the family returned to Charlotte where Stephen attended Charlotte Christian School. He continued to play basketball and led his team to three state playoffs and three conference titles. He was identified as one of the 100 juniors to watch and spent a lot of time in key summer camps to hone his skills.
Stephen Curry Was Offered No Major Scholarships.
By the time he was coming to the end of his high school career Stephen Curry was still relatively short for a basketball player – standing only 6 foot at the time. The perceived wisdom amongst most college coaches was that he was simply too small to make a college basketball athlete. Dell Curry had played (and appears in the hall of fame of) Virginia Tech and his mother had also played for the college. Stephen, however, was offered nothing more than the chance to be a walk-on player. A decisions which Virginia Tech must regret to this day as Stephen Curry has grown into a player who can dominate the game so thoroughly that he can push his team to a win against the odds. Perhaps the coaches should have paid more attention to his Toronto days!
Stephen Curry’s height never really increased. His full adult height is 6 foot 2 or 3, a tall man in ordinary life but relatively short on the basketball court. His father says that he has been the shortest player in every game he has ever played. Dell Curry give his son’s height credit for his extraordinary prowess saying that he had to look at ways to be creative with the ball in order to ensure that he could make the shots he wanted to in spite of his height.
Stephen Curry Chose To Go To Davidson – A School With No NCAA Tournament Wins Since 1969.
Upset at the fact that none of the major schools wanted to offer him a scholarship (he later said that the Virginia Tech decision ‘sucked a little bit … it was a sore spot for sure’, Stephen Curry refused to be defeated. Three minor schools, Davidson, VCU and Winthrop offered him a place and he decided to go for Davidson, a liberal arts college just down the road from his home. At the time Stephen Curry went there as a short, scrawny player, Davidson had not won a single NCAA tournament game since 1969 – hardly an auspicious pairing.
It turned out, however, to be a match made in heaven and the start of something good for both Stephen Curry and the school. He is one of the highest profile (if not the highest) athletes Davidson has ever produced. It turns out that he is also still on the books – he went pro a year early and as such as yet to graduate from school. Until that happens Davidson will not retire his number 30 as it is their strict policy (with no exceptions even for a Basketball MVP) to keep them until graduation. Davidson does not have a summer school program so Stephen Curry is having to try to finish his degree while playing pro, running his endorsements and taking care of his family – a lot for one young man to handle. He is keen to graduate, however, so hopefully Davidson’s number 30 will be facing retirement in the near future – a suitable way to honor the schools most famous athletic alumnus.
Stephen Curry Was The Second Highest Scorer Of His Freshman Year.
Bob McKillop, the Davidson coach, realized very quickly that he had someone very special in his team and Stephen Curry did not disappoint. His first game was against Eastern Michigan where he had 15 points and 13 turnovers. He quickly found his stride however and by the next game he scored 32 points, had 9 rebounds and 4 assists. His season average was 21.5 points a game, the leader in the Southern Conference and the second highest scorer amongst all freshmen. The Davidson Wildcats, the no hope team that had been off the scoreboard since 1969 suddenly found themselves scoring beyond their wildest dreams. That year they gained a 29-5 overall record and won a Southern Conference season title. Playing in the quarter finals for that title Stephen Curry scored his 113th three point field goal, a new record for freshmen.
Stephen Curry did not stop there – he passed the freshman scoring record when he gained his 502nd point in a game against Chattanooga (he scored a total of 730 in the season) and scored 30 points in Davidson’s NCAA game against Maryland (which they lost 82-70). By the end of the season Stephen Curry had been crowned Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, Southern Conference Tournament MVP, he gained an honorable mention in the Sports Illustrated All-Mid-Major and was selected to play the first team All-SoCon, The SoCon All-Tournament team and the All-Freshman Team. Perhaps the greatest honor of all, however was his selection to team USA for the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championships where the team won a Silver Medal.
LeBron James Is A Huge Admirer Of Stephen Curry.
LeBron James (who was also born in Akron) and Stephen Curry are arguably some of the most recognized faces of Basketball today with LeBron James often being touted as the best player (4 times NBA MVP) and Stephen Curry having won the laurels for the 2015 season. When Stephen Curry’s career was just starting out LeBron James’ was already well established. He was the player everyone wanted to emulate, the man they most wanted to meet and to be.
In 2008 Davidson were playing in Detroit in a regional game against Wisconsin. LeBron, whose team the Cavaliers were in town for a game against the Pistons, had heard about Stephen Curry’s extraordinary skill and decided to go and see for himself. Having watched him play, LeBron James predicted that Stephen Curry would play in the NBA and do extremely well when he did. Shortly after that game LeBron James invited Stephen Curry to join him in the locker room after a game between the Cavaliers and the Bobcats during which visit most of the talk centered about the Davidson season. LeBron continued to take an interest in Stephen Curry’s games, watching when he was able and cheering on his victories.
2015 saw the two men, both MPVs, both from the same birthplace, face each other for the NBA finals. Stephen Curry has claimed that he believes that he is a better offensive player than LeBron James. In the event it was, of course, the Golden State Warriors who became the NBA champions of 2015.
Stephen Curry Holds A Number Of Key NBA Records.
Stephen Curry added to his impressive array of college awards and honors from his freshman year in later college seasons. He took many of his freshman year honors again in later years and added to that the NCAA Division I Scoring Leader of 2009 and the record for single season NCAA 3 point field goals (162). He also gained 7 Davidson College records.
He has brought that winning streak and determination to succeed into his NBA career. He almost won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 2009-10 but narrowly missed out to Tyreke Evans. He holds the NBA regular season made tree pointers record, he is the Warriors franchise leader in three point field goals and holds the Warriors franchise record for the most three point field goals made in a game. In his years as a professional, however, he has won a number of coveted accolades.
He won the NBA skills challenge in 2011, was the NBA free throw percentage leader in 2011 and 2015, was the NBA three point field goal leader in 2013, 2014 and 2014, played the All NBA second team in 2014 and first team in 2015. Was an NBA all star in 2014 and 2015 and the NBA MVP in 2015. His team, the Golden State Warriors, were the NBA champions of 2015.
His extraordinary success has led some commentators to claim that Stephen Curry is no normal player but a once in a lifetime prodigy, someone with a truly special talent.
Stephen Curry Has Had To Battle Severe Injury Problems.
Stephen Curry’s 2011-12 season (only his third professional season and one which would be crucial to whether or not his contract would be extended) was almost the end of his career as he was left battling with injury problems. He had suffered from a number of ankle sprains in the previous season and had to have surgery to fix the ligaments he had torn. The surgery was not, however, wholly successful because the same ankle suffered from a sprain in an exhibition game just before the start of the key 2011 season. He played in the first game of the season but his performance was markedly affected by the problem. He seemed fine in the next game but turned his ankle and had to miss the subsequent game. This pattern repeated itself with Stephen Curry eventually playing in just over 1/3 of the games.
He decided to have a second surgery and his coach was sufficiently assured of his ankle’s strength for the Golden State Warriors to sign a four year contract extension worth $44 million. Since then he has been remarkably lucky with his ankle giving him few problems. He has missed some (but not many) games but as a result of concussions or injuries sustained from falls.
Stephen Curry Has A Valuable And Growing Endorsements Profile.
The promise of Stephen Curry’s early career has now crystallized into an NBA championship win and, of course, gaining the MVP accolade. Up until this point in time he has been considered fairly small time from an endorsements. Indeed he has been overlooked for endorsements in much the same way that he was for scholarships. Nike had the opportunity to sign him but were not willing to offer much for him). That is all changing and very fast. He is now hot property and is likely to have his pick of endorsements. The 2015 NBA championship showed just how valuable and influential Stephen Curry will be, the Under Armour Basketball Shoes Sales increased by 754% after the win and the Curry One is the most popular item on the brand’s website. In addition to Under Armour, he represents Muscle Milk, JBL, State Farm, Degree and Express. Companies are particularly drawn to his unique blend of sporting ability, hard work and humility combined with the ability to express a genuine enthusiasm for the product.
He signed a 4 year contract with the Golden State Warriors in 2012 which is worth $44 Million, a good sum of money for an excellent prospect coming out of a season in which he was crippled by injury (see above) but a very small sum when compared to what he could command in the market today. When that is due for renewal he should be able to (within reason) name his price. There was some talk that he might be thinking of leaving California as he still owns a home in Charlotte where he and his family spend their summers and has said that there would be some pleasure in playing for his father’s old team. He has, however, also confirmed that he feels he is a Golden State Warrior for life.
Stephen Curry Is Deeply Religious.
Stephen Curry is a very committed Christian and has never been shy about speaking about his religious beliefs. He believes that, looking back on his career the disappointments such as the failure to receive an offer from Virginia Tech were part of a larger plan. Together with the coach and a number of the other Golden State Warriors he prays before every game. He believes that basketball is his way to share the blessing that God has been in his life and to show what He can do in others.
In his MVP acceptance speech he explained that he saw himself as God’s humble servant. At the start of each game, every time he goes onto the court, he pounds his chest and points at the sky. This gesture was something he developed with his mother as a means of reminding himself who he is and who he represents – it means that he has a ‘heart for God’.
The ‘Curry One’ shoes sold by Under Armour were launched with the tagline ‘Charged By Belief’ and feature the number 4:13 at the base of the tongue and some have the phrase ‘I can do all things’ a reference to a quote from Philiippians 4:13 ‘I can do all through Christ who strengthens me’ a phrase that Stephen Curry has on his own shoes.
Stephen Curry married his childhood sweetheart Ayesha Alexander in 2011. In true Christian style the couple asked for donations to a charity that gives scholarships to the children of members of the Armed Forces to be made in lieu of wedding gifts. The couple met at church when he was just 15 and their two daughters were born in 2012 and 2015.
Stephen Curry’s story reads like the script to a Hollywood film. A first glance at his childhood as the son of two excellent athletes who grew up shooting hoops with the Charlotte Hornets and drinking in game strategy with his bedtime milk should seem to have given him all the advantages. His school records seemed to agree that he had an excellent natural talent just waiting to be honed by the right coach.
His career, however, very nearly did not get started when his father’s alma mater and every other major basketball college rejected him from their scholarship program. Refusing to be defeated he stayed local, went to a heavily intellectual school with a poor basketball record and helped lead them to extraordinary victories. People started watching because when he turned pro he was 7th overall pick on the draft call. He has gone from strength to strength. His accuracy means that he can score seemingly impossible shots with what appears to be ease and he has an impressive thee point field goal record. He has turned the height which so many college coaches saw as a disadvantage into his major advantage, learning skills he might otherwise not have to hone.
He has been one to watch for many years, even early in his career his skill was recognized and encouraged by other talented players like LeBron James. Now the world can see for themselves what they recognized and what the college coaches could not see. Stephen Curry is a coming man, someone with true (and he would say god given) talent. Enjoy watching his career continue to grow in the coming years.