What Race is Stephen Curry?
Stephen Curry, or Steph Curry, is one of the most prolific shooters in NBA history. With jaw-dropping precision, Stephen Curry is able to shoot the ball from just about anywhere on the court.
However, since Stephen Curry has emerged on the basketball scene since leading his Davidson to the NCAA March Madness games, the question of his race has been on casual and diehard fans alike.
Opting out of his senior year at Davidson, Stephen Curry was selected with the seventh overall pick by the Golden State Warriors.
In short, when it comes to what race is Stephen Curry, he is African American.
Stephen Curry’s Basketball Resume
Stephen Curry is the son of Dell and Sonya Curry. He was born in Akron, Ohio at Summa Akron City Hospital, the same hospital where Lebron James was born a little over three years earlier. Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Stephen Curry came from a basketball family, where his father played for the Charlotte Hornets.
Opting to attend Davidson over Virginia Tech, his father’s alma mater, where he was aggressively recruited since the tenth grade.
Stephen Curry had a storied college career. Scoring 502 points in his freshman year. Despite Curry’s game-high 30-points against Maryland, Davidson lost in the first round 82-70.
His sophomore year, growing to his full frame of 6’3”, Curry averaged 25.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. Losing to the Kansas Jayhawks in the third round, Curry had begun to establish himself as a formidable player.
Surpassing 2000 total points scored in his junior year, Curry and his Davidson squad would lose to Saint Mary’s Gaels in the second round. In his final season, Curry would average 28.6 points, 5.6 assists, and 2.5 steals per game.
As an NBA player, Stephen Curry has won three NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors. He has established himself as a prolific, deadly shooter. As a seven-time NBA All-Star, Curry has been voted as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) twice.
Stephen Curry’s father, Wardell Stephen “Dell” Curry, also has a storied NBA career. He is of African American descent and was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Attending Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, he also played baseball for the team. Though he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 14th round of the 1985 MLB draft, he opted to continue playing basketball.
Eventually, Dell Curry was selected as the 15th overall pick by the Utah Jazz in the 1986 NBA draft. Playing one season in Utah before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he was eventually selected by the Charlotte Hornets in the expansion draft.
Stephen Curry’s mother, Sonya Curry, is of African American Creole and Haitian descent, she was also a star athlete in her own regard.
Born and raised in Radford, Virginia, Sonya Curry’s family lived in extreme poverty and frequently encountered racist experiences with the Ku Klux Klan. However, in high school, she played volleyball, track and field, and basketball.
Eventually attending Virginia Tech as a student athlete, Sonya played volleyball and earned the all-conference honors in Metro Conference as a junior. Receiving a degree in education, Sonya would meet Dell at Virginia Tech where she would watch the men’s basketball practices.
Questions of Race in the NBA
Although, as a society, we should be past the stereotypes and questions of one’s race, unfortunately these questions continue to pop up. And the NBA isn’t immune to these questions.
Due to Stephen Curry’s light complexion, many players labeled him as soft and that he wasn’t “black enough”.
A former Los Angeles Laker, Jordan Clarkson, recalled how Kobe Bryant would tell him to stop “going to the hole like a light-skinned dude” and to “start doing it like a dark-skinned dude” due to the complexion of his skin.
Even Stephen Curry’s teammate on the Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green, would note that many players assumed that due to the complexion of Curry’s skin, his upbringing, and his having two active parents in his life, that many players would write-off Stephen Curry as soft.
Green, stating on his Uninterrupted “Dray Dray” podcast, “people just automatically think that ‘Man, this guy ain’t from the hood, he ain’t cut like that, he ain’t cut from a different cloth. He’s supposed to be soft and this, that.”
In fact, CBS Sports wrote an article proclaiming, “Stephen Curry Can Deadlift 400 Pounds – Warriors guard Stephen Curry is way, way stronger than you think.” Such articles are written about Curry due to the complexion of his skin, without taking into account the hard work and effort he has put on and off the court.
In fact, in an NBA2K Uncensored discussion, Kevin Durant discusses how the first thing he noticed about Stephen Curry was his light skin.
Stephen Curry is married to Ayesha Curry. Originally from Canada, Ayesha discusses how she had to “choose” a community to associate with when she moved to North Carolina at the age of 14. With her mother being of Jamaican Chinese descent and her father a mix of African American and Polish, Ayesha too had to overcome racial questioning.
As basketball fans, whether on the professional stage or in recreational games, we must move forward and past racial questioning. A player should never be questioned on or by their race and should only be judged by their abilities on the court.
Whether for Stephen Curry or the hundreds of other players in the NBA, the questions and stigmatization of race, ethnicity, and complexion must come to an end.