Stephen Curry’s rise to a unanimous, two-time MVP is one of the most inspiring stories in the NBA.
Curry went from a little-scouted, undersized combo guard in college, to a sharpshooting, borderline All-Star NBA player, to perhaps the most lethal offensive player in the league.
However, on Tuesday, while visiting his high school in Charlotte, North Carolina, Curry shared an anecdote from before his college rise that shows unlikely an NBA career, let alone NBA dominance, once seemed.
As a freshman in high school, Curry was a mere 5-foot-7, 130 lb. He told the audience at his high-school jersey retirement that back then he had doubts about even playing varsity basketball. From the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell:
“My freshman year, I went through some doubts about whether I could play on the varsity level back then,” Curry recalled. “One of my only regrets is not trying out (for the varsity) that year. I played JV.
“That taught me to go for it. To not let what people might tell you — no matter how short or skinny you might be — deter you from getting where you want to go.”
Curry said he wore No. 20 in high school because the No. 30 jersey, which he dons for the Warriors, was too big for him.
Curry’s story is certainly one of most unique in the NBA. His father, Dell, was a successful NBA veteran and one of the premier shooters in the league. Curry grew up shooting at NBA arenas and even playing one-on-on against future Hall of Famers like Vince Carter.
However, some thought his size would be a detriment to a future basketball career. In high school, Curry had to completely revamp his shooting form so his release would be higher and keep him from getting blocked by bigger opponents.
Of course, Curry went on to become a phenom at Davidson University, leading one of the all-time great underdog March Madness runs. He was drafted seventh in 2009 to the Warriors, and even after some successful seasons, there were doubts about his NBA longevity, due to recurring ankle injuries. He overcame those, too, to become of the best guards in the NBA, and perhaps, the best shooter the game has ever seen.
Given Curry’s current status on the best team in the league, it’s laughable to think there was once a time he wasn’t sure he could play varsity high school basketball.
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