By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
Coming into the NBA, many league observers felt Steph Curry could develop into an exciting lead guard at the professional level. But who could have predicted that he would change the game of basketball and become arguably the greatest shooter in league history? Yet here he is, at age 33, just 142 three-pointers away from surpassing Ray Allen as the NBA’s all-time leader in that category.
Here are a dozen facts about the “Baby-Faced Assassin”:
♦ Wardell Stephen “Steph” Curry was born on March 14, 1988 in Akron, Ohio. He shares the same birthday as actor/comedian Billy Crystal, Olympic gold-medal gymnast Simone Biles, music producer Quincy Jones, the late Hall of Fame baseball player Kirby Puckett and famed physicist Albert Einstein.
♦ Steph’s father, Dell Curry, played 16 seasons in the NBA, primarily for the Charlotte Hornets. He was the league’s “Sixth Man of the Year” in 1994 after averaging 16.3 points per game for the Hornets. Steph’s younger brother, Seth, is also in the NBA and is currently playing for the Philadelphia 76ers.
♦ Although he was an all-state performer at Charlotte Christian School in North Carolina, Curry was not highly recruited in high school because of his slight 160-lb. frame. He wanted to play for Virginia Tech, where his father had starred, but he was only offered an opportunity to join the Hokies as a walk-on. Curry opted to sign with Davidson College, which had wooed him since he was in the 10th grade.
♦ In his very first collegiate game, against Eastern Michigan, Curry scored 15 points but also committed 13 turnovers. In the very next game, against Big Ten power Michigan, he erupted for 32 points, 4 assists and rebounds, s in 5.9:@9:rebounds. Curry would go on to lead the Southern Conference in scoring (21.5 avg.) and was named the league’s “Freshman of the Year.” He finished the season as the country’s second-highest scoring freshman, behind Kevin Durant of Texas.
♦ Curry’s sophomore season at Davidson saw him rise to national prominence, as he posted a 25.5 scoring average and led the Wildcats to an Elite Eight appearance in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. In the process, he became only the fourth player in history to score 30 or more points in his first four NCAA Tournament games. Despite his breakthrough season, Curry decided to return for his junior year in order to further develop his point guard skills.
♦ In his junior season, Curry led the country in scoring (28.6 points per contest) and also averaged 5.6 assists. He earned First-Team All-America honors. He broke Davidson’s career scoring record, with 2,635 points. Curry still holds many Wildcat records in a number of categories. After the season, he announced that he would forego his senior year in order to enter the NBA Draft.
♦ The Golden State Warriors selected Curry with the No. 7 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Players drafted ahead of Curry included Blake Griffin (No. 1), James Harden (No. 3), Tyreke Evans (No. 4) and Ricky Rubio (No. 5). The two other players who were picked before Curry – No. 2 Hasheem Thabeet and No. 6 Jonny Flynn – would be Draft “busts” and are no longer in the league.
♦ Curry had a strong rookie campaign for the Warriors, averaging 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.9 steals in 80 games. He was a unanimous First-Team All-Rookie selection and was “Rookie of the Year” runner-up to Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans.
♦ Curry’s breakout year in the league was the 2014-15 season, after the Warriors brought in Steve Kerr as head coach. Taking advantage of Kerr’s free-flowing offense, Curry averaged 23.4 points and 8.1 assists during the regular season. He was named the league MVP and led Golden State to its first NBA championship since 1975.
♦ In 2019, Steph and Seth became the first siblings to compete against each other in an NBA Conference Final. The Warriors swept the Portland Trailblazers, 4-0. Steph averaged 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists in the series. Coming off the bench, Seth averaged 6.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists for the Blazers.
♦ On the list of top ten leaders for most three-pointers made in a single NBA season, Curry appears five times, including No. 1, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 (James Harden currently occupies the No. 2 spot).
♦ Curry’s career résumé so far: 3x NBA champion, 2x league MVP, 7x NBA All-Star, 4x First-Team All-NBA, 2x Second-Team All-NBA, 1x NBA scoring champion. He currently has 2,832 career three pointers, second only to Ray Allen’s 2,973. Barring injury, Curry should surpass Allen by the midway point of next season.
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