Steph Curry took care of some unfinished business at this alma mater this week in an unprecedented ceremony.
The Golden State Warriors star jumped to the NBA after his junior season at Davidson College, a move that put him on a path to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame but prevented him from being honored by his alma mater. Davidson has a rule that only graduates are able to be honored in their own hall of fame, a feat that Curry has now accomplished. He was honored in a unique ceremony on August 31 that included a one-man graduation followed by his induction into the Davidson College Hall of Fame.
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Curry’s Mom Honors Her Son
As NBA.com noted, Curry had a very special commencement speaker at his personal graduation ceremony — his mom, Sonya Curry. She said it was a “dream come true” to see her son receive his bachelor’s degree in sociology close to 13 years after he left college for the NBA.
“Today you can breathe and say, ‘Check, it’s done,’ ” she said in an emotional speech held at the packed Belk Arena. “Today you helped coach McKillop maintain his 100% graduation rate. And you set an example for others, young and old, that it’s never too late to complete your education.”
Steph Curry spoke about his decision to pick Davidson, one of the smallest Division I schools with close to 1,800 students.
“This is an absolutely amazing day and an amazing moment for myself and my family,” Curry said during the 90-minute ceremony. “The best decision I ever made was to come to Davidson College and pursue an education, join an amazing community and, most importantly, play for an amazing man who has built this program for what it is in (former Davidson coach) coach (Bob) McKillop.”
Curry Kept Close Ties With Coach
Curry has remained close to his legendary coach, who in June announced his retirement after 33 years as head coach at Davidson. When Curry was chasing the NBA’s all-time 3-point title last season, McKillop watched him in person when Davidson traveled to take on the University of San Francisco.
McKillop, who has remained in regular contact with Curry over the last 13 years, said in November that the Warriors star could have a bigger calling than basketball one day.
“I joke with him all the time about being president because we need a leader like this guy in the White House,” said McKillop, via the San Francisco Chronicle.
“As crazy as that sounds, if you look at the way he’s led this organization, this city, this global community that NBA basketball is a part of, he’s been a leader out front in a very quiet, consistent, distinguished, graceful way. Isn’t that what we need leading our world?”
But McKillop has also been tough on Curry back at Davidson. He joked that Curry got kicked out of his first-ever college practice for not showing up on time.
“I did kick him out once,” McKillop said in June, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “It was actually his first practice. He showed up I think about a minute and a half late and I sent him to the showers. He came back the next day and he paid a price for not being there the first day. And I always carry a handkerchief. I guess halfway through the practice, I took the handkerchief out of my back pocket. I started waving it like the white flag because he was sucking wind.”