Steph Curry is the hottest player in the NBA right now, draining three-pointers with the same ease as taking his next breath and now he has the Golden State Warriors just one win away from the NBA Finals.
Curry didn’t get to this point by accident though. The league MVP comes from a long line of athletic talent. His father, Dell Curry, 50, was a standout with the Charlotte Hornets and his mother, Sonya, 48, whose courtside presence has been the talk of Twitter lately, was a volleyball star in her own right.
There’s a reason Steph is so dominant on the court and it begins with his parents. Here’s what you need to know about the long-time pair:
1. They Met at Virginia Tech & Have Been Married Since 1988
The pair both grew up in Virginia and met at Virginia Tech in the 1980’s when Dell was a standout for the Hokies’ basketball team and Sonya was a volleyball player.
Sonya was a freshman and Dell was a junior when, as the story goes, he first asked her out after one of his games. Sonya, who stands at 5-foot-3, an almost unheard of height for a volleyball player, had attracted Dell’s attentions for the majority of her freshman year and once he asked her out on that first date, the path to romance was all but built.
They were married in 1988 and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina after Dell was selected by the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA expansion draft that year.
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2. They Have 3 Kids Together & Athletic Talent Runs Deep in the Family
After moving to Charlotte in 1998, Sonya and Dell started a family. They have three children together; sons Steph and Seth and daughter Sydel.
Steph, the oldest, attracts the most attention with his current record-breaking NBA career. After a standout, if not unexpected, college career at Davidson, Steph was selected seventh overall by the Golden State Warriors in the 2009 NBA Draft. This season is averaging 23.8 points per game, shooting 48.7 percent from the field.
Middle child Seth has also found success on the hardwood. The former Duke guard is playing in the D-League with the Erie Bay Hawks. Sydel, who joined Sonya in the stands for several Warriors and Rockets games, was the captain of her high school volleyball team.
All three children attended the Charlotte Christian School.
3. Dell Played in the NBA for More Than 15 Years
Following a four-year career at Virginia Tech, the 6-foot-4 Dell was selected 15th overall by the Utah Jazz in the 1986 NBA Draft. He played one season out west before playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers for another season in 1987.
When the NBA announced the addition of two new teams for the 1988-89 season, Dell was made available by the Cavs in the expansion draft and he was selected by the Charlotte Hornets. Suddenly, Dell found his basketball-stride.
He played ten seasons for the Hornets, used primarily off the bench, and his ability to come into the game as an instant scoring threat made him a major component of the brand-new team’s gameplan. In his time in Charlotte, Dell established himself as one of the franchise’s leaders in points, games played, three-point field goals made and attempted, and three-point field goal percentage. He was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year for the 1993-94 season.
Dell wrapped up his NBA career with stints in Milwaukee and Toronto before retiring in 2002.
4. Sonya Was a High School State Champion in Volleyball & Basketball
As mentioned, athletic talent runs deep in the Curry family and mom Sonya is not to be left out of that group.
Prior to playing volleyball at Virginia Tech, Sonya was a standout in multiple sports at Radford High School in Virginia. She won state titles in both sports during her high school athletic career before becoming a Hokie in the 1980’s. Sonya was named an All-Metro Conference honoree as a setter during her time at VT, where she also majored in elementary education.
She has consistently helped her children in their respective athletic careers, including helping Steph with his agility and quickness with a makeshift backyard boot camp in middle school. It was something the then-teenager didn’t appreciate but now credits with helping him achieve his current NBA all-star status.
Steph told SFGate in 2013:
A lot of people say whatever defensive abilities I have, I get from her. My toughness and grittiness.I hated it, but it taught me work ethic.
Never one to shy away from athletics, or being there for her family, Sonya was also a volunteer assistant coach for the Charlotte Christian School volleyball team when daughter Sydel played there.
5. The Pair Founded a Montessori School in North Carolina
Sonya and Dell found the Christian Montessori School at Lake Norman in 1995. It is one of the few Christian Montessori schools in the southeastern United States.
The school was a family affair for the Curry’s, with all three children attending the school. Sonya ran the school while, according to Steph, their aunt was a teacher and their grandmother was the cook. Montessori schools, including the one run by the Curry’s, focus on independence in education with mixed age classrooms and uninterrupted blocks of work time. There are now more than 4,000 Montessori schools across the United States.
Sonya was the focus of a 2013 article on Montessori life and the entire family has been incredibly outspoken about their devotion to faith throughout their respective careers.
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