NBA Golden State Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry has found a fresh benevolent outlet for his abundant passion for the game of golf. Stephen, the two time NBA MVP, announced earlier this week that he would fund the men’s and women’s golf teams at Howard University in Washington D.C. The historically black University gave up on golf in the 1970’s. Stephen will give the school $1 million over six years to field its first Division I golf program in Howard’s 152 year history. The announcement was made at Langston Golf Course, the second racially desegregated golf course in the nation’s capital, named for John Mercer Langston, the first dean of the Howard Law School and first African-American elected to the United State Congress from Virginia.
“No matter where you come from or what socioeconomic background you had, we all were that kid once upon a time that was just excited about finding out who they were as a person through athletics,” said Curry.
Curry’s involvement stems from an encounter in January with a Howard student named Otis Ferguson who attended a screening of “Emmanuel,” a documentary film Curry produced about the 2015 shooting of nine black worshippers at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Otis struck up a conversation with Stephen about golf, kept in touch by email on his efforts to bring golf back to Howard, and ultimately heard back this summer once the NBA season ended. “To hear somebody as passionate about the game as I was, all the while pursuing his education at Howard, impacted me,” added Curry.
One notable element of the financial arrangement is the golfers in Howard’s new program will volunteer with “Eat. Learn. Play.”, the foundation Stephen and his wife Ayesha founded to encourage healthy development in children.
Howard University’s athletic director Kery Davis said, “The donation was sort of a jolt for us. Golf has always been a game of privilege. An association with the sport will break down barriers.”
Curry’s interest in golf traces back to his childhood when he began playing with his dad, Dell. Stephen, a scratch player, regularly participates in the American Century Championship, the celebrity event played near South Lake Tahoe; twice played in the Korn Ferry.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae in Haywood, California: and has been in talks with the PGA TOUR about hosting a new event in the Bay area which could happen in 2021. Stephen has recently produced the fun golf show, Holey Moley, a mini-golf competition on ABC TV as a summer replacement show. Good job Curry!