Born in Ohio in 1988 to former NBA player Dell Curry, Stephen Curry garnered national attention for his impressive play at Davidson College. He was drafted in 2009 by the Golden State Warriors, and eventually developed into one of pro basketball's top players with his stellar shooting skills. After garnering Most Valuable Player honors and helping the Warriors win the NBA championship in 2015, Curry led the team to a league-record 73 wins the following season. In May 2016, Curry became the first person to be named Most Valuable Player by unanimous vote in NBA history, and one of only 11 players to win the MVP award two years in a row.
Early Years and Education
Wardell Stephen Curry II was born on March 14, 1988, in Akron, Ohio, but mainly grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. The oldest son of former NBA player Dell Curry, the junior Curry learned the fundamentals of basketball by watching and practicing with his father. However, it was mom Sonya, a former Division I volleyball star, who instilled the discipline to train in her son while Dell Sr. was with his team on road trips.
Lightly recruited by major college basketball programs despite a standout career at Charlotte Christian School, Curry enrolled at tiny Davidson College near his hometown. He immediately showcased his skills by scoring 32 points against the University of Michigan in his second game and wound up earning Southern Conference freshman of the year honors.
"Make it work no matter what you have to work with – that’s something that stuck with me very early on as a point guard. Adjust. Get creative. Try a different angle, a different lane, a different move or a different shot – just make it work." - Stephen Curry
Curry became a national star in March of his sophomore year, when he carried the Wildcats to a berth in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament with a series of high-scoring performances. After leading the nation with an average of 28.6 points per game as a junior, the All-American was selected with the seventh pick of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.
Despite his slight frame and boyish looks, Curry proved more than capable of handling the NBA opposition with his shooting and ball-handling abilities. The 6'3" guard averaged more than 22 points per game after the 2010 All-Star break, and wound up finishing second in the Rookie of the Year balloting. His impressive play earned him a spot on the USA Men's Basketball Senior National Team, which won the gold medal at the 2010 World Championships.
Curry sustained a sprained ankle while practicing with the national team, an injury that lingered for the following two seasons. A return to full health allowed him to regain his dazzling form in 2012-13, and Curry responded by setting an NBA record with 272 three-pointers. Named the Western Conference Player of the Month in April, he followed by leading the Warriors to an upset against the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.
After earning his first All-Star nod in 2014, Curry reached new levels of performance and popularity the following season. As one half of the "Splash Brothers" duo, which also featured sharpshooting guard Klay Thompson, Curry led an exciting Warriors team to an early 16-game win streak and was the leading vote-getter for the 2015 All-Star Game.
Curry went on to set a new record with 286 three-pointers and led the league in steals, an impressive all-around display that garnered him the Most Valuable Player Award. He then capped a memorable season by helping the Warriors knock off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, giving the team its first championship since 1975.
For an encore, Curry helped the Warriors to 24 consecutive wins out of the starting gate in 2015-16, a torrid pace that propelled the team to an NBA-record 73 wins. The superstar guard again demonstrated his unparalleled skills throughout the season, finishing with an astounding 402 three-pointers and league-high 30.1 points per game. In May 2016, Curry became the first person to be named Most Valuable Player by unanimous vote in NBA history, and one of only 11 players to win the MVP award two years in a row.
"I never really set out to change the game. I never thought that would happen in my career," Curry said after receiving the MVP honor. "What I wanted to do was just be myself. ... I know it inspires a lot of the next generation, a lot of people who love the game of basketball to value the skill of it, value the fact that you can work every single day to get better. You've got to be able to put the time and the work. That's how I got here, that's how I continue to get better every single day."
Despite the accomplishments, Curry knew that the personal and team records would be for naught if Golden State couldn't repeat as champions. The Warriors were put to the test when Curry suffered ankle and knee injuries early in the playoffs, but he returned to score a record 17 overtime points in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, before sparking a comeback win in the following round over the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, his quest for a second straight title fell just short when a long season came to a close with a 93-89 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
Curry has two siblings: Brother Seth also went on to a career in professional basketball after starring at Duke University, and sister Sydel became a volleyball player at Elon University.
Curry married his college sweetheart, Ayesha, in July 2011. One year later they had their first child, a daughter named Riley.
Since his time as a student at Davidson, Curry has been involved with the United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign, which distributes insecticide-treated mosquito nets across Africa to help combat malaria. The NBA star also raises resources for schools through the Stephen Curry Foundation and annually hosts a pair of charity golf events.
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