Like many of his NBA peers, Stephen Curry has business activities away from the world of basketball. And in 2018 he proved that he is just as great in customer service as he is on the court. Don’t believe us? Well, here’s how the Golden State Warrior responded in heartwarming style to a nine-year-old’s complaint about his footwear range.
Basketball has, of course, always been part of Stephen Curry’s life. That’s because his father is Wardell “Dell” Curry, a man who spent 16 seasons as a shooting guard in the NBA. In fact, Dell remains the Charlotte Hornets’ second-highest scorer of all time. Perhaps inevitably, then, the younger Curry started his own basketball career as a talented teenager in Canada.
The Currys later relocated back to Charlotte, North Carolina, after Dell’s final games. And Curry then guided the Charlotte Christian School team to three state playoffs and the same amount of conference titles. Yet despite his impressive form, his slim frame deterred his college of choice, Virginia Tech, from offering him a full scholarship. So Curry opted for the establishment that had kept a keen interest in his talents from a young age: Davidson College.
Coach Bob McKillop later described Curry as “something special” before he’d even touched a ball in a competitive game. But Curry soon lived up to his reputation. In fact, he actually guided the Davidson Wildcats to a Southern Conference title in his first season and ended up as the league’s leading scorer. He also smashed the three-point field goal record, previously held by Keydren Clark, for a NCAA freshman season.
Curry added several other accolades too, including Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. And as a result, in 2017 he was included in the USA team at the FIBA U19 World Championships. Curry played his part in the nation’s achievement of a silver medal as well, with averages such as 2.2 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 9.4 points.
Curry naturally continued to impress in his sophomore season too and guided the Wildcats to a 20-0 Southern Conference finish. He also helped Davidson achieve its first NCAA Tournament win in almost 40 years. He subsequently received a clearly deserved ESPY nod for Breakthrough Player of the Year.
This staggering trend carried on its upward trajectory in Curry’s junior season too. In fact, this tour saw him top 2,000 career points and become the Wildcats’ highest scorer ever. The point guard then decided to call time on his college career, and in 2009 he signed with the Golden State Warriors as a seventh-round draft pick. And he soon made the leap to the NBA look effortless.
For one thing, Curry became the sole player that season to be crowned Western Conference Rookie of the Month on three occasions. He also earned a spot on the All-Rookie First Team, making him the first Warrior in nearly a decade to do so. And, with 166 points from beyond the arc, he scored what was then the highest number of three-pointers by a rookie in the history of the NBA.
The records kept falling in the next season too. For instance, Curry broke the Warriors’ record for percentage of free throws in one season and even became the first Warrior in 14 years to top the NBA in the same mark. During the 2011-12 season, however, injuries to his right foot and ankle hampered his progress. Yet he was still later rewarded with a four-year contract extension worth $44 million.
And Curry soon silenced any naysayers via a formidable partnership with Klay Thompson, an act which saw them hailed as the “Splash Brothers.” In the 2012-13 season, in fact, Curry smashed the three-point record for one season and was crowned April’s Western Conference Player of the Month. He also made the playoffs for the first time and subsequently set another Warriors three-pointer high-mark.
The following season Curry became the only Warrior in 20 years to achieve All-NBA Second Team honors. He also surpassed Jason Richardson as the franchise’s all-time three-point scorer. And by the end of the season, he’d scored more triple doubles in a single season than any other Warrior since Wilt Chamberlain way back in 1963-64.
Curry then continued to break records in the 2014-15 season, as new coach Steve Kerr allowed him almost free rein to attempt his shots. He was evidently therefore a vital part of the team that helped the Warriors to lift its first championship in four decades. Curry was even crowned the NBA Most Valuable Player as a result.
And it was more of the same come the 2015-16 season too. Curry actually scored 118 points in the Warriors’ opening three matches of the season, the only player to do so for any team since Michael Jordan 16 years before. His older brother, Seth, also guarded him for the first time in an NBA match during the Warriors’ victory over the Sacramento Kings. And after guiding the franchise to the NBA Finals, Curry was later crowned MVP in an unprecedented unanimous vote.
Curry then helped the Warriors to enact its revenge on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the following season’s NBA Final. He also became the first NBA player ever to score at least 200 three pointers for five seasons straight. Unsurprisingly, then, in January 2017 Curry joined the NBA All-Star Game for the Western Conference All-Star team.
Then, after signing a record-breaking $200 million supermax contract with the Warriors, Curry reached the 2,000 three-pointer mark for a career in the quickest time in NBA history. He later guided the Warriors to a second consecutive NBA Finals championship with another victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, he was controversially looked over when it came to awarding the Finals MVP.
Curry shows no signs of letting up in the current season, either. In fact, Curry has now surpassed Jamal Crawford to earn the fifth spot on the NBA’s all-time three-pointer list. He also scored no fewer than five three-pointers in each of the franchise’s first seven games, smashing a record previously set by George McCloud. He then became only the fifth Warrior ever to notch up more than 15,000 regular-season points thanks to the 20 he drained against the Memphis Grizzlies.
But Curry has not just achieved success on the national stage. You see, Curry has also enjoyed a special career as a member of America’s national basketball team. He even picked up a gold medal as a fringe player at the FIBA World Championship in 2010 before taking on a more instrumental role in its 2014 defence of the trophy. Unfortunately, though, he missed out on a place in the 2016 Olympics squad due to an ankle injury.
Some have also credited Curry’s three-point prowess with changing the way that basketball teams play. He’s therefore often hailed as one of the NBA’s all-time greatest shooters. More importantly, though, he’s clearly a firm fan favorite. In fact, sales of his jersey in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons surpassed those of any other players.
And of course, like many of his fellow basketball pros, Curry has many interests outside of the game. In April 2018, for instance, he launched his own production company, Unanimous Media, as part of a multiyear deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment. He’s since executive-produced the 2019 film Breakthrough.
Curry also has a lucrative deal with Steiner Sports Memorabilia, and in 2018 he became an ambassador for and investor in mobile companion device Palm. But it’s his enduring relationship with Under Armour’s footwear that the NBA star has become most renowned for. Curry actually made the move to the sportswear giant from Nike in 2013 and has since helped to launch his very own shoe line.
And it was one particular type of shoe, the Curry 5, that in 2018 inspired a heartwarming story. While shopping for footwear on Under Armour’s website, you see, nine-year-old Riley Morrison realized that the girls’ section didn’t feature the Curry 5. So she then wrote directly to the NBA star asking why this was the case.
In her letter, Riley first introduced herself as a big Golden State Warriors fan who regularly attends games with her father. She then explained that she was looking to buy some new footwear ahead of her very own new basketball season. Referring to the Curry 5, she wrote, “They did have them for sale under the boys section event to customize.”
And it seems that Riley had certainly done her research beforehand. She continued, “I know you support girl athletes because you have two daughters and you host an all-girls basketball camp. I hope you can work with Under Armor to change this because girls want to rock the Curry 5s too.”
The nine-year-old was, of course, referring to Curry’s girls, Riley and Canon. The former was born in 2012 and the latter six years later. In 2015 Curry and his wife, Ayesha Alexander, who married in 2011, also welcomed a son, Ryan, into the world.
But back to the letter. So after Riley had written it, Riley’s father, Chris, posted a photo of the handwritten note on his Instagram page. He captioned the image, “My daughter’s letter to Steph Curry. Her way of attempting to make a difference. Proud of her.” He also added the hashtag “girlsshoptoo” as well Curry’s, Alesha’s and Under Armour’s handles.
It’s likely, of course, that Curry is a very busy man who receives thousands of messages each day. But he still found the time in this instance to reply to the disappointed youngster. And his handwritten response, posted on his own Twitter account, showed that it wasn’t a generic statement typed by an assistant.
Curry began the letter, “I appreciate your concern and have spent the last two days talking to Under Armour about how we can fix the issue. Unfortunately, we have labeled the smaller sizes as ‘boys’ on the website. We are changing this NOW.”
Curry then added, “I want to make sure you can wear my kicks proudly. So I am going to send you a pair of Curry 5s now, AND you’ll be one of the first kids to get the Curry 6.” The NBA star then continued to prove that he is just as good at customer service as he is on the court.
So, as a further apology to Riley, Curry invited the youngster to help him celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 in Oakland. And shortly after posting his response, Under Armour ensured that the Curry 5 also showed up in the girls’ section of its online store. Job done.
Yet Curry’s heartfelt response didn’t go unnoticed by the Twitter brigade. Several users subsequently took to the social media site to praise the Golden State Warrior for his very personal reply. One commented, “As a a girls’ wrestling coach, but more importantly as one who believes in equality, thank you!”
“Thank you for being a light, a voice for change and justice, and one that my son and daughter can look to and emulate!” added one impressed Twitter user. Another commented, “This is hella dope on Steph’s part. Hopefully more athletes/shoe companies start to think of this to the point that they just list things in sizes for all children opposed to making them gender specific.”
Curry later told The Mercury News why he had responded in such a personal way. He said, “It’s all about trying to get better in terms of everything that I represent. When you hear somebody say they have an experience with your shoes, and I try to serve as an inspiration for the kicks out there, it was a vantage point I hadn’t thought about.”
Curry then credited Riley for helping him and Under Armour to improve the way that they marketed their products. He said, “She opened my eyes and the company’s eyes to get better and make some quick changes.” And Riley was more than delighted with the impact that her letter had.
In an interview with the same newspaper, Riley said, “He’s a good person, and he obviously didn’t have anything to do with the Under Armour problem. He’s been doing a good job with it. I can tell you he’s trying his best to fix it.”
Riley then revealed that she would be making her debut wearing the Curry 5s while playing for the St. Apollinaris Catholic Church. The youngster, a student at Napa Valley Language Academy, also admits that she found the attention she received because of her letter “overwhelming.” She told The Mercury News that some of her fellow pupils had even started asking for her autograph.
Riley’s father, Chris, also told the newspaper that he couldn’t believe the reaction to his daughter’s complaint. “It took me a few minutes to realize I’m reading a letter that Steph Curry wrote to my daughter,” he said, referring to the first time that he logged on to Twitter and saw the NBA star’s reply. He added, “Then I went and woke her up.”
Chris described the moment that he and his daughter had read Curry’s response together as one of the coolest of his life. Riley then added, “I’m happy I changed and made a difference.” And Curry himself was just as pleased that she had reached out to him.
The Golden State Warrior told the newspaper, “She spoke up. That’s a lesson in itself right there. That’s a great connection. A lot of change happened in terms of how we go about in inspiring the next generation through my shoes and what I stand for.”
Curry has been a vocal advocate for equal opportunities throughout his career, in fact. Just a few months before Riley’s letter, for instance, the NBA star penned an article for the Players Tribune about women’s rights. In it, he revealed that he hopes his daughters, Riley and Canon, would “grow up knowing that there are no boundaries that can be placed on their futures, period.”