Stephen Curry was destined for legacy, coming from a family of athletes and growing up with the dream of sucess.
Stephen Curry was destined for legacy, coming from a family of athletes and growing up with the dream of sucess.

Cooking up a legacy

With a bigger-than-life childhood, NBA star Stephen Curry grows to navigate a modest yet eventful career in professional basketball. In doing so, he earns the hearts of millions around the world with his humane persona and undeniable skill on the court.

Wardell Stephen Curry II was bound to a life in professional sports.

As Dell Curry sprinted across the NBA court, concentrating on the precision of each play, a young Stephen and Seth Curry ran equally as fast to the team’s practice court to imitate what they had just witnessed.

Dell Curry, father to Wardell, Seth and Sydell Curry, was a Charlotte Hornets professional NBA player. With records ranging from being the Hornets’ all-time leader in points to having the most three-point field goals on the team, it was a matter of time before he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Before a career in professional basketball, Dell considered playing in the MLB. Following graduation from Fort Defiance High School and Virginia Tech, he was selected for the MLB draft, which he declined in an attempt to create a career in the NBA. 

Similarly, Sonya Adams was a multitalented athlete. With roots in college volleyball, she extended her interests to basketball and track and field. During her official recruitment at Virginia Tech, she first noticed Dell Curry at his basketball practice. A few years later, with a degree in education and a baby on the way, the two would wed. Sonya would use her degree to found the Christian Montessori School of Lake Norman, where she enrolled her children.

Soon after their marriage came the birth of future NBA legend Wardell Stephen Curry II. Born in Akron, Ohio, on March 14, 1988, Curry spent most of his childhood in Charlotte, North Carolina, where his father played. He would later be called many things—Baby Faced Assassin, Chef Curry, Steph, the Golden Boy—but Wardell was never one of them. 

Curry grew up surrounded by stars. Considering his father’s status, it was inevitable that he would meet a basketball player. His interest was not in the players but in the game. He wanted to watch the game, learn from the best, and practice regardless of who was watching. 

His talent became apparent at a young age, with morals that assisted him on and off the court. He could have had anything handed to him at a moment’s notice, with opportunities that most children couldn’t even imagine and a father with a well-cemented basketball career. Despite this, he found it important to remain humble and hardworking. He wanted to earn everything he knew he deserved.

This mentality bled into his home life and schoolwork. Constantly abiding by his parent’s and teachers’ rules, he learned to appreciate the significance of school. At home, he was required to do chores, with basketball on the line if incomplete. 

It’s also important to note that his mother monitored Curry’s training when his father was away. He spent hours training in his backyard with a makeshift hoop, practicing different shooting techniques and accuracy. He often got so discouraged that he would run away, crying out of frustration.

He continued playing basketball throughout high school to make it big. Curry’s talent was evident, but he had one thing standing in his way: his build.

He wasn’t short by any means. Curry stood six feet tall as a senior when he began applying to colleges and looking for sports scholarships. The average height of the NBA, however, is about 6’6. Paired with his thin build, he was overlooked despite his talent and speed.

Curry originally wanted to play for Virginia Tech, following in his father’s footsteps. He wasn’t offered a scholarship and was only accepted to play as a walk-on (a college athlete who tries out for a team without the coach’s endorsement). He instead decided to play at Davidson College, where the coach took a strong liking to him and offered him a scholarship to play basketball there.

His first year at Davidson College was memorable, to say the least. He would average 21.5 points a game—more than any first-year player in the country—and would earn the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year award. 

The following year, he would lead his team to the quarterfinals of the NCAA March Madness basketball championship tournament. He would leave college after his junior year for the NBA, but not before becoming the top scorer in the country.

The 2009 NBA draft was filled with historic players. Strangely, Curry would be the seventh player drafted. Two notable players drafted before him include Blake Griffin and James Harden. The others, however, would face less desirable treatment, either being forgotten or transferred to basketball leagues in foreign countries. 

Curry would be drafted by the Golden State Warriors, causing him to move from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Oakland, California.

Released on November five, 2009, GQ would interview Stephen Curry and document the build-up to his first NBA game on October 28 and how it ended. He described feeling a lack of difference between college and professional basketball, even mentioning that he felt as though he had been playing there for a while. 

By the end of his rookie season, Curry did not manage to receive any awards; however, he was recognized as the runner-up for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He also achieved his first career triple-double on Feb. 10, 2010, where he made 36 points, 13 assists and ten rebounds.

The following season, on June 1, 2011, he would set a franchise record in free throws for the highest accuracy—93.4%. He would also marry his high school sweetheart, Ayesha Alexander, on July 30.

2012 would be a slow year for Curry in terms of basketball. With no accomplishments that season, he managed to receive a four-year, $44 million contract renewal with the Warriors that was signed on October 31. 

In 2013, he set numerous records and obtained important achievements. On February 27, Curry scored 54 points against the New York Knicks, which is his highest-scoring game to date. Then, on April 17, he would break Ray Allen’s record for the most three-pointers made within a season, reaching a high of 272. Two days later would be his first playoff appearance, where they beat the Nuggets.

2014 would be similar to 2012, with the only notable achievement being his first All-Star game appearance for the Western Conference.

Curry would break three more records near the end of the 2014–2015 season. On Jan. 7, 2015, he would become the fastest player to make 1,000 career three-point shots in 369 games. A few months later, on April 9, he would surpass his record of 272 three-pointers made within a season. On May 4, he was named the Most Valuable Player (M.V.P.) of the 2014-2015 NBA season, and nine days later, he would become the fastest player in NBA history to make 100 three-point shots in the playoffs.

On June 16, 2015, Curry, along with the assistance of his teammates, would achieve the team’s first NBA Championship title since 1975. They would soon follow with three more championships in 2017, 2018 and 2022, and Curry would earn another MVP award for the 2015-2016 NBA season. 

Curry’s humble rise to fame is well respected due to the evident effort he put into it. Despite his parents’ established careers in sports, he set out to create a name for himself. In doing so, he set unbroken records and standards in basketball that he continues to maintain, along with a positive influence both on and off the court. Stephen Curry stands to prove that with practice, motivation, and commitment, we can pave our paths and create our future.

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