This In Your Face ran in SLAM last year after Stephen Curry had a coming-out party of sorts in the NCAA Tournament. Little did we know that would be but a prelude to what he’d do this year. See you later, Wisconsin…
By Michael Bradley
It finally happened in early March. Stephen Curry defeated his old man. Kicked his butt, really. Dell Curry came to Davidson and consented to a shootout. It wasn’t close. But it wasn’t official.
“He said it has to be in the driveway to be the house championship,” Stephen says with a sigh.
When your father is a former sharpshooter who spent 16 years drilling NBA three-pointers, you probably have some pretty good basketball DNA hard-wired inside. You also get the inevitable comparisons and the accompanying substantial shadow from which it’s never easy to escape. So, when you get a chance to knock Dad down, you start swinging.
“It was a little hard for me in high school, because when I would do something on the court, [people] would bring [Dell] into it,” Stephen says. “It’s a good honor to have Dell Curry as my dad and to have his name, but I’m trying to make a name for myself.”
Consider the first steps toward that goal accomplished. Curry had a tremendous freshman season for the Wildcats, averaging 21.5 ppg and playing a huge role in helping a team that was replacing four starters and seven seniors return to the NCAA Tournament. Curry made an astounding 40.8 percent of his three-point attempts, showing that his father’s sweet stroke did make it to the next generation.
Maryland found that out in the first round of the Tournament when Curry erupted for 30 points in an 82-70 loss. The Wildcats were in control early on but wilted late when Maryland discovered that Curry and his mates were pretty accurate from long range.
“They were pressing us, and we were getting open shots because we could break it and weren’t shy about shooting early in the shot clock,” Curry says. “In the second half, they realized [the press] didn’t work.”
The 6-1 Curry heads into his sophomore year hoping to improve his ballhandling, but no matter how tall he is, he can still shoot. Just ask his dad about that.