When he's not drilling 3-pointers from absurd distances and at historic rates, Steph Curry is a big-time golfer.
Curry's not too bad either, even to the point where he could go pro after his Hall of Fame basketball career comes to a close. Either way, Curry's passion for golf and uplifting the Black community and HBCUs came together for an inspiring story in the summer of 2019.
Curry committed to fund the Howard University golf program for six years, helping them get back into Division 1 competition. On the Beyond the Fairway Podcast with NBC Sports' Doug Smith and Will Lowery, Curry told the story behind his decision to do it and how it all stemmed from a quick conversation with a Howard student.
"I went to Howard a little over two years ago and we were there with Unanimous to do a screener for a documentary called "Emanuel" that we just launched about the shootings that happened in Charleston back in 2016," Curry said. "While we were there, we did a screener, we did a panel talking about gun violence, and faith, and forgiveness and the themes of the documentary."
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW
After the screener, about 150 Howard students stuck around to meet Curry. As he went up and down rows talking to different kids and learning their stories, a student named Otis grabbed his attention regarding the golf program.
"I kinda went down the row to talk to each of the students that were there and they all had some amazing ideas about things they were passionate about," Curry said. "Otis came up and was like, 'Hey I've been on the Howard club [golf] team and been trying to get Division 1 golf back here at Howard.' We just chopped it for five minutes, I got his information, followed up with him a week or two later like 'How can we get this done?'
"Then we had buy-in from the top, Dr. Frederick, who runs Howard, he was 'Johnny on the spot,'" he said. "The athletic director, they all were passionate about it. From there it kind of happened, I had a lot of partners that stepped up in support."
Howard is one of 25 HBCU golf programs and are in the midst of their first season in Division 1. To Curry, the process he went through to uplift that program could easily be replicated at other HBCUs.
"What I've done for Howard in trying to create an endowment there is special and you can create a template that looks like that at other schools," Curry said. "If you even looked at when I played in the match with Phil [Mickelson], Chuck [Barkley], and Peyton [Manning], that was five hours of national broadcast television that was all about HBCUs. So I don't know if that happens without what we did with Howard and creating that awareness.
"It's an ongoing process, but you have to do your homework, your research and be intentional about what you can do for those HBCUs because the opportunity is there," he said. "We're creating those relationships and building that network so that it's a little bit easier."