One of the top three American basketball players of this century, Stephen Curry, knows why he’s so good. And the answer is right at the feet of the two-time NBA ‘Most Valuable Player’, three time league champion and six-time NBA All-Star.
“My mum challenged me to find a [Bible] verse that I could rely on to give me strength, give me a sense of purpose and to remember who I was playing for every time I lace up my sneakers,” Curry shared earlier this year in ‘Versus On Watch’, a Facebook video series about the everyday lives of top athletes.
“My faith is tested on the court as much as it is in life.” – Stephen Curry
“It reminds me why I am blessed with these talents, where I get my strength from, and who I am playing for.”
The Golden State Warriors point guard chose a cut down version of Philippians 4:13 as his sneaker verse – “I can do all things…” [Full version: “I can do all this through [Jesus Christ] who gives me strength.”]
The 2019-2020 NBA season starts October 22 and Golden State coach Steve Kerr has already declared Curry is “at his peak physically, mentally”. ESPN pronounced Curry as one of the three “superstars who defined this NBA decade”, alongside LeBron James (LA Lakers) and Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Net).
But as Curry revealed to Varun Soni, Dean of Religious Life at USC (University of Southern California) in the “Faith” episode of his Facebook video series, the NBA legend doesn’t see himself primarily as a basketball god.
The order of personal information on Curry’s Twitter handle outlines his identity. “I put believer first, because that is supposed to be the roots of everything that I do as a believer, as a husband, as a father, and on down from there,” Curry told Soni about his Twitter bio.
The NBA superstar grew up going to church. His parents are convicted Christians who took the family to a morning service every Sunday, and Curry also attended youth services mid-week. His father and mother, Dell and Sonya, are interviewed for the Facebook video and reveal how important it was to them to share their faith with their children.
“My faith, to me, is my strength,” said Sonya Curry. “When I have questions, challenges, I read the Word, and it’s my beacon of light, my lighthouse.”
Before school, Curry’s mum would wake her kids to do family devotions – “to emphasise putting God first.” But until early high school, Curry saw Christianity as his parent’s thing. “[Christianity] was more something that was important to my parents but I never really understood it,” Curry said.
“I was kinda just going with the flow.”
When Curry was in the eighth grade, one of his pastors explained the importance of having your own faith. That moment changed everything. “I felt a calling, went down to the altar, and gave my life to Christ,” Curry shared about deciding for himself to be a Christian.
“Faith to me is believing in the unseen, and having a conviction that there is a higher power that has given me a purpose to what I am doing on this earth,” he added. “That is the foundation to how I live my life and how I want to see the world through that lens.”
“My faith is tested on the court as much as it is in life.
“It’s the part that always keeps me focused on what I need to do when it comes to my family, when it comes to my job, when it comes to how I treat other people, my appreciation for life and all the good things that happen and how to deal with the bad things.”
“It’s a constant battle; if I say I have it down, I’d be lying.” – Stephen Curry
Curry’s Christian faith is widely known. Recently, he co-founded Unanimous Media, a movie and TV production company focused on ‘faith-based’ content. Breakthrough is the company’s first feature film, based on the true story of a mother’s Christian faith and her son’s survival after a deadly accident. Curry told The Hollywood Reporter that Breakthrough is “a story about the power of prayer and perseverance and one I immediately connected to. After reading the script, I knew I wanted to be a part of bringing it to life onscreen.”
In ‘Versus on Watch’, Curry noted how he likes his actions to speak for him: “My faith is about the personal relationship, more so than following a certain religious tradition or practice.”
“[It] challenges you to make sure that you are feeding your spirit with the right things versus what the world is throwing at us. It’s a constant battle; if I say I have it down, I’d be lying.”
“I strive to be myself, live out my faith, continue to learn, and not be afraid of that higher calling. I feel there’s a responsibility to that, and I own it.”