Considered one of the most formidable shooters in the history of the sport, professional basketball player Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is the first person in NBA history to unanimously win the Most Valuable Player award. His mastery of the sport, armed with his philanthropic efforts make him one of the most respected athletes in the professional sports world.
Stephen was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Sonya Adams and Dell Curry, a former NBA player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Curry grew up primarily in Charlotte, where his father played for most of his career with the Charlotte Hornets. Curry and his younger brother Seth followed their father on the court, shooting with the players during warm-ups as children. Teaching him the game of basketball was a family effort, with mother Sonya instilling a strong work ethic in her son with training when his father was away on road games. Playing for the Queensway Christian College basketball team, a young Curry led his team to an undefeated season and was subsequently all-conference and all-state, winning three state playoff appearances. During high school, he initially wanted to play at his father’s alma mater, Virginia Tech, but ultimately chose Davidson College.
As a slight of build freshman at Davidson, Curry led the team in scoring and ranked second in the nation after Kevin Durant. During his freshman season, he broke the record for most 3-point field goals with 113, then surpassed the scoring record for a freshman in February 2007. By the end of his storied freshman season, Curry was Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, as well as Sports Illustrated All-Mid-Major honorable mention. Later that year, he appeared in the World Championships, helping the USA team to the silver medal.
During his sophomore year, Curry averaged 25.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, leading the Wildcats to a 26-6 season record and a third consecutive NCAA bid. His play garnered an ESPY nomination for Breakthrough Player of the Year. After confirming a junior year at the collegiate level, Curry began developing his talents as a point guard for a future in the NBA. Davidson won their championship division and finished 18-2 in the conference. His final season averaged 28.6 points and 5.6 assists making him the NCAA scoring leader and All-American.
Selected as the seventh overall pick by the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 draft, Curry’s rookie contract paid out at $12.7 million over four years. Averaging 17.5 points and 5.9 assists, he placed second in the NBA ‘Rookie of the Year’ and made the NBA All-Rookie First Team and the NBA Sportsmanship Award. Between May of 2011 and April 2012, Curry suffered from a series of injuries that required surgery, dropping his output significantly for the Warriors.
After two seasons of injuries that threatened to stall his career even further, Curry made a triumphant return in the 2013-2014 season by becoming the franchise leader for three-pointers for his career and making his first All-Star appearance as a starter for the West. The Warriors made the playoffs, losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games. The following year, Curry was named NBA Most Valuable Player, averaging 23.8 points and 7.7 assists per game. Together with teammate Klay Thompson, Curry was dubbed the ‘Splash Brothers’ duo for their sharpshooting skills.
Before the start of the 2014-2015 season, the Warriors hired Steve Kerr, a former NBA player, as the head coach and he quickly made monumental changes to the style of play on the team, which gave Curry even more room to shine and make them serious contenders for the NBA championship title. On April 9 of that year, Curry broke his own record for most three-pointers in a season and the Warriors ended with 67 wins as Curry was voted league Most Valuable Player. The Warriors were so dominant during the year that Curry was benched for 17 fourth quarters in order to keep him healthy and not risk injuries.
The Warriors faced the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning in six games. During the 2016-2017 season, Curry set an NBA record for most three-pointers in a regular season game, breaking Steve Nash’s record. He hit his 200th three-pointer in a win against the Clippers, making him the first NVA player to have five consecutive seasons of 200 or more three-pointers.
A fervent and outspoken believer in his Christian faith, Curry has spoken several times on how Christianity has saved him from the perils that often befall many athletes in the NBA. Often during games, he has displayed his love for God with fist pumps up in the air and even on his basketball shoes, he has scripture from the Bible that references Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me.” In addition, he has a tattoo from First Corinthians that reads, “Love never fails.”
As a philanthropist, Curry has donated to the United Nations ‘Nothing But Nets’ campaign to fight the problem of malaria in third world countries. In 2015, he went to the White House and gave a speech on President Obama’s Malaria Initiative strategy that spans from 2015 until 2020. After winning the MVP award in 2015, Curry donated a 2016 Kia Sorento to the East Oakland Youth Development Center, an organization that runs at the Oracle Arena in their backyard. Currently, Curry has a partnership with Under Armour called Under Armour Curry’s, featuring material that is inspired by parachutes.
Known for living a fairly private life, Stephen Curry got married in July 2011 to his longtime girlfriend Ayesha Alexander.
Later they welcomed two daughters, Riley (2012) and Ryan (2015). Curry’s younger brother Seth also plays professional basketball, and his sister Sydel plays collegiate volleyball at Elon University.
In honor of his father, NBA star Dell Curry, Stephen Curry wears the same number jersey as his father, #30. Everyone in the family is blessed with an athletic side as well, with his mother Sonya also noted for her run as a college volleyball standout. Known for living a fairly private life, Stephen Curry married in July 2011 his longtime girlfriend Ayesha Alexander. Later they welcomed two daughters, Riley (2012) and Ryan (2015). Curry’s younger brother Seth also plays professional basketball, and his sister Sydel plays collegiate volleyball at Elon University.
A Pisces, Curry also is celebrated as a motivational speaker and has been quoted many times for his uplifting messages to young people, such as, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
Interestingly, Curry holds a verbal contract with his mother, who fines him $100 after the third of each game. The money goes into a fund and is then distributed to charities.
- Stephen Curry: The Inspiring Story of One of Basketball’s Sharpest Shooters by Clayton Geoffrey
- Stephen Curry (The Big Time) by Laura K Murray
Written by: Triston Brewer