Steph Curry: Underrated

 

The first in a month-long series of March features is a household name, the epitome of The Underdog, and one of the greatest basketball players on the planet. Steph Curry may have been the son of an NBA player, but he was underrated his entire life… until one magical March.

At 13 years old, Curry nearly quit on basketball. He was a small, skinny guard who shot too much. In high school, after those shots finally started falling, the only major Division I school who made Curry an offer was Virginia Tech, his father Dell’s alma mater. Curry came to find out that the “offer” was a courtesy to his father, and merely a roster spot as a walk-on. He’d have to pay his own way.

After choosing Davidson, dreams of the NBA were a long shot for a 6-foot-3, 170-pound kid in the Atlantic 10 Conference. All of that changed in March of 2008 when Curry and 10-seeded Davidson slayed one Goliath after another.

A ten-point win over 7-seeded Gonzaga in the first-round featured 40 points from Curry.

Georgetown, a 2-seed, was the next victim. After trailing by 17 points in the second half, Curry’s Wildcats clawed back for a four-point win. Steph had 30 that night.

The Cinderella story was in full-swing when Davidson pummeled 3-seeded Wisconsin by 17 points in the Sweet 16, and Curry netted 33 against the nation’s top-ranked defense.

The only thing that ended the magical run was a two-point loss to the eventual champions, the Kansas Jayhawks. Curry still had a game-high 25 points but failed to reach the Final Four.

The country knew who Steph Curry was, mostly because of his last name, but his performance during those four games launched him into first-round draft conversations – another Davidson facing Goliath.

Undersized. Not a finisher. Extremely limited. Didn’t have the upside of Ricky Rubio, Brandon Jennings or Jeff Teague.

NBA analysts said many things about Curry being a one-and-done March hero who wouldn’t make it the NBA. Curry also led the NCAA in assists that season, but he was still underrated. Taken by the Warriors with the seventh overall pick, the baby-faced assassin still had much to prove.

“(Being) underrated might start off as just some feeling the world imposes on you. But if you figure out how to harness it? It can become a feeling you impose on the world.”

Two MVPs, six All-Star selections, and three NBA titles. Before Curry’s career ends, he’ll own every three-point record in the books. That feeling of being underrated? It's been harnessed and imposed on the world.

An undersized sharpshooter with NBA pedigree just needed a stage to shine, and March delivered.

Check back here the rest of the month for underdog stories born from the madness, miracles, and magic of March.

 
Justin Tangmarch2019