Drafted in 2009, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry immediately began to make an impact on the court with his accurate shooting and off it with a passionate desire to share his faith in Jesus Christ. The newly minted 2014-15 NBA Most Valuable Player shared his Christian faith story (below) several seasons ago in the pages of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' magazine, FCA Magazine.
My dad may have been playing in the NBA at the time, but the best basketball games I remember from my childhood were the ones between my little brother, Seth, and me on our backyard basketball court in Charlotte, North Carolina. We'd play for hours and hours, oftentimes well into the night with the use of a bright stage light shining on the court, until our mom would yell out the window for us to come in. Those games would get pretty heated, but that was the norm for brothers as close as we were.
Our whole family was very close in fact, even when it came to school. My mom started a Christian Montessori school when I was in first grade, so we all went there together—Mom was in charge as the head mistress, our aunt was our teacher, and our grandmother was the cook. My brother and sister and I were blessed to have such great influences in our lives, and I can honestly say that my mom and dad were the best. They raised us to believe in God, and we were at church every Wednesday for youth Bible studies and every Sunday for services.
I remember it like it was yesterday, the day I gave my life to Christ. I was in fourth grade, and I recall hearing and understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ and walking down the aisle to give my life to Him. My parents continued to pour into my faith from that point on, making sure I understood the commitment I'd just made. Starting in middle school I attended Charlotte Christian School, which allowed me to hear the gospel on a daily basis. Looking back, my childhood was filled with the Lord's presence.
Wanting to follow in my dad's footsteps on the hardwood, I had my sights set on Virginia Tech during my high school years. Unfortunately, the Hokies and other ACC schools weren't interested. I was confident the Lord had blessed me with the talent to play the game, and I just wanted to go where He wanted me to be. That place became as clear as day to me once I met Bob McKillop, Davidson's head coach. He explained his vision for my career at Davidson and how he could help me achieve my goals. Plus, he was a man of God, so it was an added bonus to play for a leader who was grounded in faith. The entire recruiting and signing experience taught me about patience and seeking God's will, because He had a plan all along. I couldn't see it at the time, but I trusted He knew what was best for me.
During our Cinderella run to the 2008 Elite Eight, I knew the Lord was preparing me for a bigger stage to represent and be a witness for Him on the basketball court. I remembered my mom telling me from day one at Davidson that God puts His people in different areas of life so that they can reach more people for Him. I tried to use that time for His glory.
Then, in 2009, it was a surreal moment and a dream realized to be sitting in the green room with my family hearing my name called as the seventh overall pick of the NBA Draft.
Fast-forward to now—my fourth year with the Warriors—and my faith continues to be my driving force. God's blessed me with an awesome support system in Oakland, starting with my head coach, Mark Jackson, who is a pastor of a congregation in Southern California. It's rare to have such an outspoken believer leading an NBA team. We also have about 10 guys on our team who attend our pregame chapels and pray together before games.
The Holy Spirit is moving through our locker room in a way I've never experienced before. It's allowing us to reach a lot of people, and personally I am just trying to use this stage to share how God has been a blessing to my life and how He can be the same in everyone else's.
God's given me talents to play basketball for a living, but I still have to work hard to improve every day. I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is just a game that can be taken from me at any moment. But I love that basketball gives me opportunities to do good things for people and to point them towards the Man who died for our sins on the cross. I know I have a place in heaven waiting for me because of Him, and that's something no earthly prize or trophy could ever top.
There's more to me than just this jersey I wear, and that's Christ living inside of me.
Stephen Curry plays for the Golden State Warriors and was recently selected as the NBA's most valuable player.
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