You don’t need to know basketball to know Stephen Curry. He’s that popular. Lets learn a bit about his background. Born on March 14 1988 into the home of NBA player Wardell Curry, young Steph began playing as soon as he could but his father seeing his many weaknesses, groomed him to be a better player. This was not enough though, because he had the “disadvantage” of being slighter than most athletes in his game. As a matter of fact he was often overlooked in selection because of this when he was younger . This however spurred him on to perfect the skills that have earned him the name “baby faced assassin” today. So, three years ago, he wasn’t even an all star; four years ago he had chronic ankle problems that threatened his career and kept everyone on edge. How did he then go from that to being NBA’s most valuable player of 2015? Here are some lessons I have gathered from Stephen Curry’s journey, which I think everyone could learn a thing or two from
1. Never be regular; exceed your former self: Stephen had his fair share of rejections, especially at the beginning when he was younger. That drove him to look to creative means to work around his lightweight and stature. But that’s one of the things that are great about Steph: his work ethic. He is full of talent, but hear this: he’s always in court long before training begins, and by the time others get in, he would have worked up a sweat and would be ready for whatever. After the session, he would remain behind and wouldn’t leave until he had scored five free throws in a row. If he scored four and missed the fifth, it didn’t qualify. It had to be five in a row. Even in this time of great fame, he spends much of his off season time honing his skills so that he’s in excellent form. Now that’s what I call commitment to improvement. Having a disadvantage turned into a blessing can only come from commitment to making it so. He is in the same league now as much bigger and heavier guys like LeBron James (250 pounds, 6 ft 8, and Kevin Durant, 240 pounds, 6 ft 9 ; both great champions in their own right. On a good day, Stephen weighs 185 pounds and his height is at 6 ft 3. Therefore he knows that every throw matters, every dribble, every back pass, every single move has to be honed to perfection so that he’s a lithe monster on the court.
Like the saying goes “the only room that is never full, is the room for improvement”.
2. When success comes, do not forget what drove you at the beginning: Stephen has always been outspoken about his faith, and used to write 4:13 on his sneakers when he played in his college team. (Philipians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me). When he got a deal with Under Armour who makes his shoes now, he had it printed on it. After every winning shot, he often beats his chest and points to heaven, as a reminder that he’s playing for God. He’s 28, but is married to his college sweetheart, Ayesha Curry, whom he met in church years ago, and they have two daughters. How does he do it? You may ask. His value system. I don’t know the details of how he balances pro basketball with a family, but he’s doing it, and doing great at it! He has an example in his father Dell, who played pro basketball for 16 seasons but was blessed with a family that stayed together. He says he wasn’t afraid to take the plunge! That’s what faith and a good family will do for you. I believe it would be the same even if he wasn’t famous. Do not forget what drove you at the beginning.
3. Give back to society: Stephen has been involved with the UN’s nothing but nets campaign, which they use as a platform to provide aid to countries still battling with malaria. Stephen pledged that for every three pointer he makes, he would donate three nets to the cause. He is involved in many other charities. We could learn from this, since here in Nigeria, it seems to be the unspoken rule to succeed alone. You can read more about Stephen Curry here, here, and Here.
I hope this inspires you to go beyond the discouragements and obstacles. Number one lesson is probably the most important advice us young people need today. Here’s to the success of the dreams we’re working hard at. May we all succeed.