Curry holding his coveted Maurice Podoloff Trophy Monday at the Oakland Convention Center. Photo by F.D. Purcell
"I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me."
That's the scripture from Philippians 4:13, a scripture that Steph Curry has written on his shoes and one that's on his Twitter page.
Curry patiently awaited his turn to speak on Monday when he was crowed the 2014-2015 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player and when he finally approached the podium after all the pomp and circumstance his voice cracked with emotion. He composed himself and then he stated the following:
"First and foremost, I have to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for blessing me with the talents to play this game, with the family to support me day‑in and day‑out," said Curry,"I'm his humble servant right now, and I can't say enough how important my faith is to how I play the game and who I am. So I'm just blessed, and I'm thankful for where I am."
With over 2M Twitter followers Curry's describes himself on his page as a Believer, Husband, Father, Son, Brother, Warrior and Wildcat.
Curry's Faithwas challenged when he wasn't heavily courted out of high school, when people said mean things to him for being the son of former NBA All-Star Dell Curry. He was light in the pants, scrawny and had a horrible shot but his Faith got him through. He had supportive parents and a cool grandma who even served as his game announcer when he was a toddler playing with his Fisher-Price basketball set.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary Faith is a noun that means: (1) Belief and trust in and loyalty to God or (2) Something that is believed especially with a strong conviction.
His Under Armour slogan is 'Charged by Belief' which isn't surprising. Curry was raised in North Carolina known as the Bible Belt of the south where a church is on every corner and worship music is played on the radio daily.
I thought of how proud I was of this young black man; not the man on the court but for the man I've watched over the past six years. Now 27, I thought about how he kept his composure when everyone didn't believe in him when Monta Ellis was traded away and how he apologized for calling me ma'am.
At a time when so many black men are being gunned down in the streets Curry is a breath of fresh air. He has a beautiful wife named Ayesha, a daughter named Riley and a baby on the way. Life couldn't be sweeter. I thought about how he's one of the many black men who have done things in an order the media does not portray: education, career, marriage, family.
During All-Star weekend in New York this past Febuary Curry stopped a group of African-American teens and bought them all a pair of his Curry One's. Just because.
Curry with the group of NYC teens during All-Star Weekend - Photo courtesy of Bryant Barr
While he didn't come from the streets Curry isn't mute to the world around him and makes it his job to give back.
"That's just the type of person he is," said Davidson teammate Bryant Barr who was with Curry when he visited the White House earlier this year to speak on Malaria in Africa.
As part of its support of the Kia NBA MVP Award, KMA donated a 2016 Kia Sorento LX CUV to the E. Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC) on behalf of Curry.
"It's very important to give back. Four wheels can do a lot of good," said Curry afterwards who said it's important for athletes to explore outside of their 'bubble' and impact the life of others.
As he got into the meat of his speech Curry broke down what he applies in his life and on the court: Faith, Passion, Drive, and Will.
"I wanted to use this opportunity to shed light on who I am and what drives me to play the way that I do. I do a little sign on the court every time I make a shot or good pass, and I pound my chest and point to the sky, and that symbolizes that I have a heart for God. Something my mom and I came up with in college, and I do it every time I step on the floor as a reminder of who I'm playing for."
Curry also took the time to thank each and every one of his 14 teammates as well as the equipment manager and security.
He is the first in the team's history since moving West to win MVP, the last time was in 1960 while the Warriors were in Philadelphia and the player was someone named Wilt Chamberlain. Not bad company at all.
"People should know who I represent and why I am who I am, and that is because of my Lord and Savior. So I can't say that enough."
As Jamie Foxx says in the Curry One commerical...
Golden State will host Game 2 against the Memphis Grizzlies at ORACLE Arena at 7:30 pm.