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Warriors’ Steph Curry credits NBA success to mid-major college experience: ‘I got to learn with reps’

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Stephen Curry is a four-time NBA champion, a two-time MVP and the NBA’s all-time leading three-point shooter. 

His on-court feats have been thrilling fans of the league for the past 14 seasons, but his stardom came from humble beginnings. 

Stephen Curry speaks with Bob McKillop

Stephen Curry, #30 of the Golden State Warriors, speaks with Davidson head coach Bob McKillop prior to Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at ORACLE Arena on June 1, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Passed over by the blue-blood college basketball school, Curry attended Davidson College, a small private school outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. 

It was at Davidson that Curry burst onto the scene, leading the Wildcats to an improbable Elite Eight berth in 2008. 

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On the latest episode of “Hot Ones,” Curry credited his time at Davidson for his success, saying his career would have gone differently if he had attended a bigger school. 

“I don’t think so because the brand of basketball that I play now, was predicated on a system that Davidson College, Dave McKillop [Curry’s head coach at Davidson], mastered. And the only reason I think I’m successful at it is I got to learn with reps,” Curry said. “So, having gone to [Virginia] Tech or Duke, or whatever, maybe I ride the bench my freshman year and I don’t get that experience, I don’t know if I’d be the same player. 

Stephen Curry in 2017

Stephen Curry, #30 of the Golden State Warriors, smiles on the court during the ceremony to name the student section after him at Davidson’s John M. Belk Area after him at Davidson College on Jan. 24, 2017 in Davidson, North Carolina. (Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)

“It’s kind of a message of go where the best fit is for you. As much as you might want to have the pedigree or the resume to say ‘I played in the ACC, I played in a power conference.’ That’s all cool, but myself, Damian Lillard, Ja Morant, guys who went to mid-major colleges, they’ll find you wherever you’re at. I had faith at the time. I didn’t know how it would pan out. I wouldn’t change that experience for anything. So, I’d rather play than sit on the bench and say I got a Power conference school on my chest.”

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Curry was drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the seventh pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, and the rest is history. 

Two point guards were selected before him, with the Minnesota Timberwolves selecting Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn with back-to-back picks. 

Flynn is out of the league while Rubio is on his fifth NBA team in 12 years.  

Stephen Curry celebrates

Stephen Curry, #30 of the Golden State Warriors, celebrates a play during the game against the Sacramento Kings during Round One Game Four of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2023 at Chase Center in San Francisco. (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Curry will enter his 15th season in the NBA for the 2023-24 NBA season following a tumultuous year in the Bay. 

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Prior to the start of the 2022-23 season, Warriors forward Draymond Green punched teammate Jordan Poole in the face during training camp, leading to Green being away from the team for a week.

Golden State was never able to get on track following the incident, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. 

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