“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
As we bear witness to the pinnacle of all basketball, The Playoffs, there were players that made their mark upon reaching this point. There was James Harden, an explosive shooting guard who can change the course of a game with his offensive arsenal. Chris Paul, a point guard with extreme court vision and can single-handedly carry a team when it matters the most. And of course, who would forget LeBron James, a destructive force both offensively and defensively.
Of all these great players that rose to the occasion this season, one player stood out the most: Stephen Curry. Curry had a dream season, leading his team to a franchise record of 67-15. He also topped his own record in 3-pointers made (276) and lead the league in 3-pointers attempted (625) making an outstanding 44.2% from rainbow country (3rd in the league). Aside from his trademark 3-point shooting, he is also a great floor general who can also create shots for his teammates, generating 7.2 assists per game which is 7th best in the league.
This was enough to earn him this season’s Most Valuable Player.
A lot of basketball fans still ask the question, “Why him?”
For me, “why not?”
Steph Curry’s road to winning this MVP race started from humble beginnings. Early in his life, Wardell Stephen Curry II was just a normal kid shooting hoops in his hometown of Virginia in a basketball ring his grandfather, Wardell Jack Curry, built years ago. As a kid, he was small but his dreams were big. He wanted to become an accomplished basketball player like his dad, Dell Curry, who at that time was one of the premier shooters in the league. At first he was criticized for being too small to play ball but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream.
He enrolled in Charlotte Christian School and became a standout player. However, in college, Steph was not offered a scholarship in Virginia Tech, the college his dad played. He was offered a spot in Davidson, a college program that lacks a respectable track record when it comes to NCAA tournaments. He improved his shooting during his stay in college and it paid off. In 3 years playing in the NCAA, he averaged 25.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. Not bad for a guy who didn’t get a lot of recruiting letters.
After a successful collegiate career, he declared for the NBA Draft in 2009, and was chosen by the Golden State Warriors. It didn’t take long for him to find his groove as he finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting (won by Tyreke Evans). In his 3rd season in the league, Curry suffered a major setback, injuring his right ankle that forced him to sit out 40 of the lockout-shortened 66 games. Disappointment once again, he promised redemption. He expanded his range, his game, his career. The result of all those hard work invested in the gym? He broke Ray Allen’s record of 272 3-pointers made in a season.
What is so inspirational about his story is finding out what motivates him to do these things, against all odds. Steph Curry is a full-pledged Christian. He is a God’s man and dedicates all his games from up above. With a religious drive and the will to surpass any expectations placed above him, he became the player that he is today. Winning the MVP award just validates the notion that anything’s possible with Him by your side. He proved that nothing’s impossible and that everything can be achieved with a lot of hard work, dedication, and of course, motivation. We can all learn something from this, that a man can be pushed to his limits but never be broken.
That is how to value life.
Curry’s teammates also benefited from his spiritual ways as he became the light that sparked the improvement of the team and became a solid force in the league. Klay Thompson, another one of Golden State’s go-to guys on offense, had a breakout year making it in the 2015 All-Star Game and solidifying his role as the other half of the “Splash Brothers.” Draymond Green has become the voice of the team, and earning him a runner-up finish for the Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player of the Year awards.
A leader, a friend, and an inspiration, Steph showed us that big things come in small packages and that success is all about working hard and earning it in the right time. Blessed is the man who did the impossible.
Blessed is Stephen Curry.
– Ced Mendoza (contributor)
(image from: http://bit.ly/1CNQ7pW)