Their journeys to the pros have some similarities.
Steph Curry and Russell Wilson both have had their athletic abilities questioned since their private high school days.
Both players had star athletes for fathers, and “experts” questioned whether either could propel their collegiate brilliance into the pros.
Neither Wilson nor Curry was supposed to achieve stardom at the next level.
One has a championship ring. The other is an MVP candidate.
Seattle’s No. 3 and Golden State’s No. 30 have one more thing in common.
Wilson and Curry are my two favorite athletes.
Here are five reasons why:
- They are unashamed. Curry has been vocal about his love for Christian hip-hop. I’ve seen Thi’sl and Lecrae post pictures with Curry, and he and Jeremy Lin were two of the athletes that posted using the #Anomaly hashtag when Lecrae’s album was about to drop. Wilson’s Twitter account has a daily dose of scripture, and he and a few Seattle Seahawks teammates made a video pronouncing their faith.
- Style of Play. Curry wows with his skills – insane handles and a silky smooth shooting stroke – the same way fellow NBA star Russell Westbrook wows his athleticism. Wilson’s combination of skill, poise, arm strength, leadership, and athleticism make him both easy to cheer for and fun to watch.
- Faith in action. I love what Wilson and Curry do when they are away from their respective sports. Most recently, Curry was in the news for buying his shoes for kids in the Under Armour store over NBA All-Star Weekend. Whenever I see Wilson post something on social media, it’s usually him at a children’s hospital trying to give back. Famed sportswriter Rick Reilly wrote an article about Curry accompanying him to Tanzania to spread mosquito nets.
- Underdogs. Every NFL team passed on Russell Wilson – twice. And experts had a laundry list of reasons Curry could possibly fail in the NBA. Not big enough. Played small college ball. Not a true enough point guard, etc., etc., etc. Both have proven to have the tangibles – as well as the intangibles – to be among their league’s best players.
- Local ties. I don’t need more reasons to like Wilson and Curry, but I have literally known about both athletes their entire life.
A high school basketball court 15 minutes from my home is named after Curry’s dad, Dell Curry, a former NBA sharpshooter.
Wilson’s uncle (his mom’s brother) pastors a Baptist church one mile from my house.
In Virginia, we have no sports teams of our own to cheer for, so our allegiance is based more on connection than geography.
And I can’t think of any two better to root for than Curry and Wilson.
JamTheHype.com wants to hear from you. Which athlete – Curry or Wilson – has surprised you more with their success in the pros? Who is your favorite athlete currently?