Akron natives Curry, James differ in path to stardom
Stephen Curry was born in the same city – Akron, Ohio – as LeBron James, but the comparison in the development between the two superstars in the NBA Finals ends there.
James , who will lead his Cleveland Cavaliers against Curry’s Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals starting Thursday, was talented and developed enough to go straight to the NBA coming out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron.
Curry, in his first NBA Finals whereas James has reached that plateau in the last five years with Miami and now Cleveland, was not recruited by a major college basketball program because he was viewed as too small and skinny (6’2” and 163 pounds at that time) to hold up against high-caliber athletes, especially on defense.
Virginia Tech, the alma mater of his father Dell, did not offer him a scholarship out of high school although Stephen wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps there. The Hokies told Curry that he could walk on and attempt to earn a scholarship.
The legendary status of his father at the school did not help him. Dell Curry, who is in Virginia Tech’s Hall of Fame, was a 16-year NBA veteran. He played for Cleveland when Stephen was born in Akron although he raised his son mostly in Charlotte while a member of the Hornets.
Davidson, a mid-major in the Atlantic 10 conference, took a chance on the younger Curry. VCU and Winthrop were the only other schools to offer him a scholarship.
Curry immediately proved recruiting analysts wrong with the Wildcats. Rated as only a three-star recruit by Rivals.com coming out of Charlotte Christian High School, Curry scored 32 points against Michigan in his second collegiate game. He broke the NCAA record for three-pointers made by a freshman with 122.
After earning consensus All-American honors with Davidson in 2007-08 and 2008-09, Curry left to the NBA before his senior season. He went from being rated the No. 36 point guard out of high school by Scout.com to being the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft.
Curry is now listed at 6’3” and 190 pounds, still small by NBA guard standards, but immeasurable is his competitive fire and basketball instincts gained from his father.
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