Whether you follow the NBA or not, there’s a pretty decent chance you’ve heard of Steph Curry. He’s taken over the league, recently being named league MVP for the second straight year. Four things we can learn from him are:
1. Believe, even when others doubt your potential
Steph Curry wasn’t recruited by NCAA power conference schools. He ended up at a mid-major, Davidson College, and led his team on a cinderella run in the NCAA tournament. He finished his college career as the NCAA scoring leader and a consensus first team All-American. His NBA recruiting profile included weaknesses as: average athleticism/ size, shot selection, relies too heavily on outside shot, limited upside. He was the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Last year he won his first league MVP and led his team to the NBA title. This year he became the first player in NBA history to be a unanimous MVP, leading his team to an all-time NBA best 73-9 record, shooting over 50% (field goals)/ 40% (three-pointers)/ 90% (free throws). He’s undoubtedly had one of the greatest single seasons and is in the conversation for greatest shooter of all time. Imagine if he would have listened to those who doubted his potential.
2. Work hard, and don’t be limited by what others say is possible
Curry practices half court shots in pregame like they are layups, and for good reason. He is not afraid to pull up from anywhere on the court, especially from well beyond the three-point line, also making numerous half-court (or beyond) shots. Curry already has more seasons leading the league in 3 point field goals than anyone in history (4). Last year he set the record for threes in a single season (286). This year he broke that record by over one hundred threes (402). He has stretched the limits to what is considered a makable field goal and has changed the game of basketball.
3. Make others better, and give credit to your team
Curry is not only a great shooter, but a phenomenal passer. In addition to leading the league in scoring (30.1 points per game) this year, he was tenth in the league in assists (6.7 assists per game). That doesn’t even take into account his secondary assists – passes that lead to an assist – of which he was second in the league. A great amount of credit due to the success of the Golden State Warriors is due to the unselfish point guard play of Steph Curry. Before specifically addressing each of the guys on his team during his 2015 MVP speech, Steph said, “These 14 guys sitting on this stage right here. You guys push me every single day. I’m going to go through kind of just talking about you individually because you need to be highlighted as a part of this process, and as a part of the team that we built, and a reason why this trophy is it sitting here…”
4. Have perspective, win or lose
Curry has said,“There’s more to me than just this jersey I wear.” One of my favorite things about Steph Curry is his partnership with Nothing But Nets, donating three bed nets that prevent malaria for each three point field-goal that he makes. He is using his skills for more than just winning basketball games, but to help others.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you have or don’t have, what you lack or what you have too much of, but all you need to have is faith in God, an undying passion for what you do and what you choose to do in this life, and a relentless drive and the will to do whatever it takes to be successful in whatever you put your mind to.” -Steph Curry