I don’t think you’d find anyone who’d say Golden State Warriors guard, Stephen Curry wasn’t a good guy with a feel-good story.
If he didn’t win you over as this skinny kid from Davidson knocking big-name programs out of the NCAA tournament, he did with how he battled back from ankle injury.
And if the on-the-court accolades, the unanimous MVP, championships, and three-point heroics don’t move you, his heart, standing up the President and helping his community surely has. These days you can count on one hand how many stand-up guys there are in the public light that has a magnified platform, and time and time again, Curry has shown he knows what to do with it.
With all that being said, his latest efforts, starting a basketball camp for the “underrated” high school kids in the country with a rating of three stars or less, might just be his most inspirational effort yet. The announcement came this week (January 9th) via the Player’s Tribune in an article titled, “Underrated.” He writes,
“And so that’s the idea behind the underrated tour: to create a basketball camp, in partnership with Rakuten, for any unsigned high school players rated three stars and below. A camp for kids who love to hoop, and are looking for the change to show scouts that their perceived weakness might actually be their secret strengths.”
In the article Curry recounts his journey, being “5’5”, 5’6” tops — and maybe like 100 pounds soaking wet” and persevering though limitation despite them.
What makes the Underrated Tour so dope is that Curry’s right — there are kids overlooked for what may be real deficiencies. This tour, however, builds a culture that instead of counting them out, as they did to Curry and like he almost did himself, builds them up to become the next unique generational talent.
You’d be surprised how deflating not getting the four or five-star recruit is, and even more surprised at how many what would be really good talents hang it up because of it.
Both Damian Lillard (Weber State) and C.J. Mccollum (Lehigh University), who subsequently, are on the same team, did not go to big schools, yet have won First-Team All-NBA and Sixth Man of The Year honors, respectively.
Even in football, Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman in college and has the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes in a season, all while starting his career as a walk-on, twice — you can find stories of the underrated triumphing everywhere.
Curry’s tour goes beyond sports. It speaks to all professionals no matter the background not to stop when others say so; it motivates everyone with a dream that one closed door doesn’t mean they all are that way and it brings Curry’s unbelievable journey to a relatable stage.
There are legions of underrated kids like Steph, Dame, C.J. that just might not give up now that Curry has this tour. Who knows what kind of talent he’ll find or what product his camp might produce? Curry’s long three’s and lightning-fast release are products of what veteran scouts saw as weaknesses. What ways then will the game evolve with other determined yet different talents?
For all we know, Curry’s camp could be the next big thing in basketball. For now, we’ll just call it his biggest gesture yet.