Steph Curry was born on March 14, 1988, to parents Dell Curry and Sonya Curry. The Golden State Warriors star’s mother grew up in Virginia and met Curry’s father while they were both attending Virginia Tech. Curry is very close to his mother, who’s one of his biggest supporters.
Here’s what you need to know about Steph Curry’s mother Sonya Curry:
1. Sonya Curry Grew Up in Radford, Virginia, & Has Been Open About the Racism That She Witnessed in the Community
Sonya Curry grew up in a poor Black community in Radford, Virginia, and detailed how sports was her way to shield her from the racism she encountered in the community. The future NBA star’s mother lived with her family in a trailer home, she told Andscape, and her mother, Candy Adams, used to walk 5 miles to get to the nearest all-Black school in the 1950s and 1960s.
“We didn’t think it was that bad then,” Adams told the publication. “When I tell people today they say how horrible it was, but it was normal to us. We didn’t know any better.”
Sonya Curry recalled an incident at a women’s softball game in Radford when she was just 11 years old. She was the scorekeeper for the game, which was her family’s all-Black team playing against an all-white team. Sonya Curry said that before the game, a Ku Klux Klan member dressed in a white hood rode onto the field and lit a cross on fire.
“I guess it was a fear tactic,” Sonya Curry recalled. “It didn’t work because all hell broke loose. My mom was on that team, aunts, cousins. They [were] ambushed, and it was an all-out fistfight between the two teams, all women.” She said the fight was eventually broken up and the game didn’t continue.
By the time Sonya Curry went to high school, she was able to attend Radford High but said the student population was “less than 1 percent Black.” However, the young girl was an athlete who played volleyball, basketball and ran track and relay, and she said it shielded her from the racism in her school. “You had to play sports,” she explained. “I had to be the best to force them to play with me.”
She pushed herself to take all the same classes as her white peers in high school and said she wasn’t gonna allow any of them to be better than her. Her academic push meant that she was accepted at Virginia Tech, where she obtained a degree in education and became the first college student and graduate in her family.
2. Sonya Curry & Dell Curry Saw Each Other for the 1st Time During Her Recruiting Visit to Virginia Tech
Curry’s parents met when they were both at Virginia Tech, where Sonya Curry was a college volleyball player. “I was short, fast and mean,” Sonya Curry told the San Francisco Chronicle about her athletic abilities. At the time, Dell Curry was already a star at the school and on his way to the NBA.
She said she saw Dell Curry for the first time during her official recruiting visit when he was playing in the gym. After she joined the school, the two began dating, got married in 1988, and started a family. Their firstborn, Curry, was born on March 14, 1988. Two years later, on August 23, 1990, they welcomed Seth Curry, who would also go on to play in the NBA for the Brooklyn Nets. On October 20, 1994, Sonya and Dell Curry welcomed their daughter Sydel Curry to the family.
After 33 years of marriage, Curry’s parents announced in August 2021 that they were divorcing. “After exploring a trial separation over the past year and much thoughtful consideration, we have decided to end our marriage. As this comes with a great deal of sadness, our focus and desire is for our family’s continued happiness,” the former couple told People.
Curry said his parents’ divorce was “difficult,” but told the Charlotte Observer that it’s about “understanding who they are individually as people and getting to know them and what makes them happy now.” He said his parents have been “anchors” of his family and gave him a lot of lessons about his own journey into fatherhood.
3. Sonya Curry Is an Educator & She Founded a Montessori School in North Carolina
Sonya Curry is an educator and Curry said it showed in the way he and his siblings were brought up. He described his mother as “selfless” and said she sacrificed a lot of time for others. “It was staying late after school, mentoring, kids, talking to parents, giving them encouragement,” he told People.
That’s why his parents made education a priority for the Curry children rather than athletics. “Plenty of times I was disciplined for not taking care of things in the classroom or around the house, and the punishment was that I couldn’t practice or play,” he explained to SF Gate.
In fact, the Curry children were brought up to put their chores and schoolwork first ahead of sports and Curry said Sonya Curry didn’t hesitate to enforce the rules. He recounted an instance in middle school when he didn’t do the dishes on purpose the night before the first game, and he wasn’t allowed to play.
When the children were still young, Sonya Curry started a Montessori school, a teaching method that puts emphasis on independence, accountability and hands-on learning. After that, Curry and his brother and sister went to school with their mother, and he said he grew a lot of self-confidence from that type of learning. “It is pretty special,” he told SF Gate. “It teaches you how to work through something.”
Sonya Curry explained that the school helps children develop a sense of self. “If you hit a roadblock, don’t be discouraged,” she shared. “Life throws you challenges and you need to figure it out.”
Curry ended up leaving college a year early to join the Warriors but promised his mother that he would finish his degree. The NBA star kept his word and graduated in 2022 with a bachelor of arts degree with a major in sociology from Davidson College, 13 years after he left to join the NBA.
At his graduation ceremony, his mother shared an emotional message with her son, telling him, “Please take a moment. Hug your wife. Hug your children. And then hug yourself. It’s okay to say you’re proud of yourself. You deserve this moment. Sit on it for a minute before you start thinking about something else you’re gonna do, because I know you’re my child and we’re already like, ‘What’s the next thing?’”
4. Steph Curry Praised His Mother for Raising 3 Children With Their Father Often on the Road Due to His NBA Career
While NBA fans know that Curry followed in his father’s footsteps, the Warriors star admitted that he takes after his mother. While speaking with SF Gate, he said his mother is a “strong woman” who raised her three children very well despite their father often being absent due to his NBA career. “She deserves a lot of credit for how we turned out,” he said.
Curry also praised his mother for passing on to him his “defensive abilities” of “toughness and grittiness.” He recalled when he was in middle school struggling with running well and his mother, who’d been a hurdler and relay runner in school, put him through a backyard boot camp. He said for two weeks, they worked on his form and did plyometrics. “I hated it,” he shared. “But it taught me work ethic.”
Even as an adult and an NBA star, Curry said his mom is still his mom and isn’t afraid to tell him off. The Warriors star revealed that after one emotional outburst during a victory in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals back in 2018, he yelled to the crowd, “This is my f****** house!”
Afterward, he shared with ESPN that his mother “sent me two home videos, showing me the clip and playing it back. She was telling me how I need to wash my mouth out, saying to wash it out with soap. It’s a message I’ve heard before.” The star point guard admitted that his mother was right. “I gotta do better,” he said. “I can’t talk like that.”
5. Sonya Curry Wrote a Memoir of Her Life Titled ‘Fierce Love’
Sonya Curry has a lot of stories and lessons from her life thus far and in May 2022, she released her first book, a memoir titled “Fierce Love: A Memoir of Family, Faith, and Purpose.” The book chronicles her life, from her childhood in Virginia to now, including “raising her immensely gifted but sometimes headstrong children, to becoming an educator and founding a Montessori school, to discovering a profound, life sustaining connection to God and faith,” its description states.
She told People that she wanted to write her story in the hopes that others might be inspired or find purpose from her own experience. “I want to encourage others to pray continuously, live intentionally, love fiercely, and laugh daily!” she added.
In her memoir, Sonya Curry revealed that she had an abortion before she had her three children and that she also considered terminating her pregnancy when she was pregnant with Curry and had scheduled an appointment at a Planned Parenthood clinic before ultimately backing out at the last minute.
“For me to be able to share that story for people to know, one, so many people are struggling with it, and it’s OK, it’s OK that you are struggling with it,” she explained on Bleav’s “Your Mom” podcast. She added that she wanted to highlight that “the decision that I made to keep him at that point is also counter with the decision that I made to not carry through with the previous pregnancy.”