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How a YouTube video and the “Underrated” documentary reveal the Davidson impact on Stephen Curry’s life

From shooting in his Charlotte backyard to four rings with the Golden State Warriors, a YouTube video and Curry’s first documentary, “Underrated,” chronicle the impact Davidson has had on shaping his journey to stardom.
Ava Jordan
While an unknown underclassmen at Davidson College, Steph Curry (right, in baseball cap) and friends appear in a student produced YouTube video.

On the surface, the public side of Steph Curry is all about basketball. Growing up with an NBA father, earning accolades as a highschooler, playing at Davidson College, then being considered as one of the greatest point guards to ever play in the NBA are common knowledge, but, as a famous Youtube video made by Davidson students published in 2009 shows, simply being a student at Davidson College helped mold and shape him, too.

The video was posted in 2009 from a channel called “TheDavidsonShow,” most likely created by students to share student life. The channel happened to feature Curry multiple times before their last upload in 2010. The channel is a perfect example of how involved Curry was with his fellow students. He is now a celebrity and All-NBA talent but Davidson helps remind people that he got to live the normal college life like lots of people.

Backyard Beginnings

In the recently released documentary, “Underrated” (available on Appletv+), viewers see a different side of Steph Curry, too. He had to work extremely hard just to get a little bit of recognition.

Steph’s mother, Sonya Curry, said, “It’s not about proving other people wrong, it’s about proving himself right.”

His stardom didn’t occur overnight, it took a lot of practice. Listed at 6’ flat entering his senior year at Charlotte Latin high school, Steph was not highly recruited at all. He was only offered a scholarship to play basketball by 3 schools: Winthrop, VCU and the now well known (thanks to Steph) Davidson College.

Curry was also invited to walk on at Virginia Tech, where his father Dell played back in the day,  but he chose to stay close to home. This unknowingly changed his life and the trajectory of Davidson College forever for the better.

“I really had to try to find out what my identity was, proving people wrong, in a sense,” Curry said during the documentary.

Accolades at Davidson

Davidson’s coach, Bob McKillop, who led the Wildcats from 1989 to 2022, was the biggest influence he had up to that point in his career. McKillop wasn’t worried about what Curry didn’t have, he was focused on what he could do. And that was shooting the basketball.

College ball wasn’t easy at the beginning. Coming in as a 165 pound 6’2” freshman he committed 13 turnovers in his first game in a Wildcat uniform. McKillop never lost hope though and led Curry and the Wildcats to a 29-5 record but lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament. 

Looking back, Curry was asked in an 2019 interview about how big of an impact McKillop was, if McKillop was part of his legacy or if Steph was his whole legacy.

“No, no…he is part of mine but his name is basically synonymous with Davidson,” Curry said in the documentary.

McKillop really wanted to make a statement in the 2007-2008 season. By now, Curry and the Wildcats were very well known locally and nationally. They went undefeated in the Southern Conference and lost 7 non-conference games, three of which were against ACC powerhouses N.C State, UNC Chapel Hill and Duke all by very small margins. 

The team went on a 25 game win streak, as well. The biggest accolade was Curry and McKillop taking Davidson to the Elite 8 before they stalled against Kansas by just two points.

Davidson would not make the tournament the following year but scouts and fans had seen enough out of junior guard, Steph Curry, to know he was something special.

With one year of eligibility remaining, it was time to leave Davidson for the NBA. Curry was drafted seventh overall in 2009, with four point guards taken ahead of him. Team owners and sports analyzers were confident that Curry wasn’t NBA built or NBA ready. History has shown they were very wrong.

A Wildcat Forever

Despite being one of the greatest point guards of all time and a unanimous MVP, the documentary explains that Curry still had few goals to check, one being a promise he made to his Mom in 2009. No matter what happened in the NBA, he would graduate college and earn a degree.

Steph earned his degree in sociology in 2022, right around the same time that Bob McKillop announced his retirement. During the same ceremony in which he received his diploma, Curry became the most recent player to have his jersey number retired.

Steph Curry’s jersey now hangs in Belk Arena above the same floor he made famous as an undergrad. (Noah Roberson)

Earning his degree shows once again how Davidson still impacts and shapes him to this day.

Steph Curry has obviously made a huge impact on the Davidson community and put both the town and the college on the map. While coach Bob McKillop was the longest tenured member of the basketball team, Curry left the bigger impact and helped them grow from a bottom tier Division 1 college team to a respected Division 1 program now competing in the Atlantic-10 conference. 

At his graduation ceremony, held on the court in the gym that Curry made famous in college, coach McKillop said, “There is hope in the world because of Steph Curry.”

Steph Curry is still searching for more accolades to add to his Hall of Fame resume but his Davidson legacy, as both a decade (plus) old student produced YouTube video and a recently released feature-length documentary show, he is a Wildcat forever.

If Steph Curry had never stepped foot on Davidson College, lived a typical college life and spent years in the small town north of Charlotte, he may never have become the player he is today. 

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About the Contributors
Noah Roberson
Noah Roberson, Features Editor. Editorial Editor

Noah Roberson is entering his senior year and has been at CSD since kindergarten, so some would call him a “lifer.” Now in his first year of journalism, he hopes to learn more about writing professionally and on a deadline. He wants to pursue a career in sports communications. He is drawn to classes that will help him prepare for his future. 

In his free time, Noah likes to collect and play retro video games such as old models of Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox. Finding old gems whether it’s at a yard sale or a store is always a good feeling for him. He also enjoys spending some quality time with his family especially before he eventually departs for college.

“Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” - Bo Jackson

Ava Jordan
Ava Jordan, Deputy Editor-in-Chief. Opinions Editor

Ava Jordan is a senior who has been at CSD ever since kindergarten. This is Ava’s second year in journalism and she is very excited to continue to grow her writing and learn more about what it means to be a journalist. 

While at school, Ava enjoys her AP Psychology, as she wants to major in psychology in college. She loves AP Statistics, too, because of the satisfaction that comes with discovering how numbers interconnect and overlap. She is also a varsity tennis player who is competing for the first time for the school.

Out of school, Ava loves to go out with her friends! She looks forward to football games and going to work on the weekends. 

“I think the perfection of love is that it’s not perfect”

 - Taylor Swift

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