The patriarch of the Curry Family, Dell Curry spent 15 seasons in the NBA perfecting the three-point shot. After he retired, he passed that skill on to his kids. Now the reigning league MVP, eldest son Steph Curry is leading the Warriors to their first NBA finals in 40 years. The things that make Steph great: his quickness, aggression, and quick release, all come from Dell Curry.
Here’s what you need to know about the former sharpshooter:
1. Dell Grew Up Shooting in a Barn in Virginia
Dell Curry grew up in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and went to Fort Defiance High School as a youngster. There, his high school basketball coach let him use his barn to shoot, and Dell spent hours each day working on his technique. During his time there, Curry won state championships in both basketball and baseball.
He finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer, and was named to the 1982 McDonald’s High School All-American team. His play led to him being recruited by Virginia Tech, where he started all four years. During this time, the NCAA did not use a three-point line, but that did not stop Curry from being named First-team All-Metro Conference for his final three years. Curry finished his collegiate career at Virginia Tech ranked 2nd all-time in points and the all-time steals leader with 295, despite never making it out of the first round of the NCAA tournament.
2: Dell Was Drafted by the Rangers & Orioles & Pitched 3 Scoreless Innings With Muggsy Bogues at Second Base
1991 Classic Best Gastonia Rangers Dell Curry & Muggsy Bogues minor league baseball cards pic.twitter.com/dEFoum6q0g
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) January 17, 2015
Curry was a two-sport athlete, playing baseball throughout high school and college. A right-handed pitcher, Curry was drafted out of high school in 1982 by the Texas Rangers but elected to attend Virginia Tech. Curry continued to play baseball there, and upon graduating was drafted again, this time in 1985 by the Baltimore Orioles. Curry again did not sign, and instead entered the NBA Draft.
Later in his career, however, Curry did get to make an appearance on the mound. Curry made an appearance in 1991 for the Class-A Gastonia Rangers, under the advising of George Shinn, who also owned the Charlotte Hornets. Curry made one start in 1991 for the Rangers alongside Muggsy Bogues at second base. Curry pitched three innings, striking out four batters while allowing three hits, a walk and a run.
3: He Was the First Ever Charlotte Hornet
Dell’s consistency at Virginia Tech led to him being selected 15th overall by the Utah Jazz in the 1986 Draft. At 6’4’’, Dell was not as athletic or talented as many other players, but his lightning-quick shot release made him effective. After spending one season in Utah and another in Cleveland, Curry was the first selection by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1988 Expansion Draft.
Curry spent 10 seasons in Charlotte, mostly coming off the bench to provide instant offense. He was a regular in the discussions for Sixth Man of the Year, but didn’t actually win the award until the 1993-94 season. Today, Curry is still the all-time Hornets leader in points, three-point field goals made, and total games played.
4: Dell Met His Wife Sonya While She Was Crushing It on the Volleyball Team
When Dell was a junior at Virginia Tech, he met a freshman volleyball player named Sonya Adams. Dell attended games regularly, and the two soon began dating. They were married in 1988 and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to start a family. They built this dream house on 16 acres and had three kids, all of whom are exceptional athletes. The youngest is daughter Sydel, who is a redshirt freshman playing volleyball at Elon University. Then there’s Seth, who currently plays in the NBDL for the Erie BayHawks. And then there’s Steph, who like, plays basketball and stuff.
Throughout their upbringing, Sonya and Dell made sure athletics were never a priority. The three Curry children weren’t allowed to play sports competitively until they were in middle school, and faith was and still is a large part of their upbringing. Shortly before his retirement Dell founded the Dell Curry Foundation, an organization built to assist struggling youths in the Charlotte area.
5: He Works For the Hornets & Teamed Up with Steph at the 2015 Shooting Stars Competition
Since he stepped off the court in 2002, Curry has made an active attempt to stay close to the NBA. In 2009, Curry was hired as a color commentator for the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets). Curry had to withdraw his rookie of the year vote in 2009 due to Steph being a contender, despite Steph’s claims that his dad was voting for Tyreke Evans. Curry worked as a broadcaster until 2014, when he was hired by Charlotte as director of basketball relations.
During the 2015 All-Star Weekend in Brooklyn, Dell and Steph teamed up with WNBA legend Sue Bird in the Shooting Stars Competition. The team finished third out of four teams, losing to the squad captained by Chris Bosh. Most recently Dell can be found accompanied by his wife on the sidelines of most Warriors games, as the pair root on Steph as he pursues something Dell never achieved: an NBA title.