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NBA MVP Stephen Curry Maintains Disciplined Focus On Life

Tom Buehring - 700 Club Producer

Steph Curry is basketball’s distinguished sharp shooter, an NBA Champion and back-to-back MVP, after becoming the league’s first unanimous selection to win the award. His growing acclaim raises expectations. Steph says, “It definitely becomes harder to stay at that level because you have a bulls eye on your back, you’re under a bigger – I guess you call it a bigger microscope – and there’s much more scrutiny, criticism, praise - all that you have to deal with.”                                                        

Steph had to first deal with being overlooked, attending small Davidson College when big universities offered no recruiting interest. NBA scouts then questioned his size and skill-set prior to the 2009 draft before the struggling Golden State Warriors took him with the seventh pick. When asked if there are days when he wonders how he got here, Steph answers with an emphatic, “Oh, a hundred percent! There are times where I kind of think back to when I was drafted, didn’t know exactly know the direction we were going. A losing team and to now where we’re playing for championships.  And have a huge stage to play on every single night we step on the floor so it is an amazing journey – and something that I’m grateful of the entire journey to get here!”            

His entire NBA career has been spent in Oakland - home of the Warriors and hub for a rabid national and local fan base! According to Steph, “The Bay Area is so culturally diverse and there’s so many different people from so many different backgrounds. It’s obviously a beautiful landscape you’ve got the bay, you’ve got San Francisco and Oakland. So there’s a lot of variety in a very small space. You can tell people who live here, love it and they receive us on the basketball floor so well! They support us, they’re passionate fans and care about what the Warriors are up to.”                                                                                          

A team that’s up to being the league’s elite, with Steph’s signature three-point shot resetting his own NBA record in each of the past three seasons. So what’s the most important component to his outside shooting? Steph says, “Consistency, with your base and fundamentals. So you look at the greatest shooters in basketball history – not one person shoots like another person. They all have their very unique form, but they’re the ones that can repeat that form over and over and over again with little change each time so that they are a more accurate shooter, when it’s pressure time, when they’re open, not open, whenever.”    

While shooting the ball, Steph’s eyes lead his shot, saying, “It’s on the rim as I’m shooting. After I shoot when the ball is halfway up towards the rim I kind of stare at the ball just to see how its rotating, see what line its on, usually know at that point whether you’re going to make it or miss it. And then you lock back on the rim and hope to see that ball go right through the net.”   

He’s scoring skills are on a fast break of their own, quick enough to earn Steph a reputation as the NBA’s greatest shooter ever! But of all the shots the billboard wonder treasures, it’s the sure shot that anchors his soul. He says, “I’ve learned well from my parents. They set a very, very high standard of who you are and what you believe and how Jesus can work through you on a daily basis, should be at the forefront and that should be able to navigate you through whatever life situation you’re in. And to not be ashamed of that!”   

His dad, Dell Curry, played 16 NBA seasons. Growing up in a basketball family gave Steph a nurturing model shared among players. Christianity plays a part in the brotherhood with his teammates. Steph explains, “You ask anybody in there walk of faith – its all about finding accountability partners and finding people that can encourage you in your walk. Knowing nobody’s perfect. We all have very similar temptations, struggles through out entire walk of faith. For us on the court we all grind and compete on the floor, so why not grind and compete in our spiritual walk together as well.”              

The overlap, for both player and person, becomes intentional!  Steph shares, “We have a group chat – we call it the discipleship group where we share Bible verses every single day and kind of do a bible study through text message.  Every game day we probably have 10, 11 guys show up for the thirty-minute bible study, prayer service, daily encouragement that’s the biggest thing. You can get lost in the daily routines and the hype of what we do on the floor and forget why we’re here.”                                               

He shares encouragement from his platform, donating chemically treated bed-nets internationally by every three-pointer he makes with the Nothing But Nets campaign. Steph says, “It’s definitely gratifying to know we’re saving lives. Malaria is a devastating disease, especially for kids under the age of five. So families in Africa who are in malaria-prevalent areas – those parents can’t protect their young ones from a mosquito bite and negative effects from malaria without our help and without these nets. And, this is an issue we can eradicate, its something that’s preventable, and we’re on that mission!”  

Steph Curry, the basketball shot-smith, double dribbles his discipleship into the game he plays and into the lives he influences outside of it! “The hardest part with how crazy society is and the pace of our life right now, you have to be able to continue to get feed every single day because there are distractions left and right”, Steph says, “find ways to impact people with how you walk, whether you say anything or not, that they can see something that’s different about you and how you carry yourself – that’s to follow Jesus.”

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