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On the shoulders of giants: campus reacts to Curry's return

By Julia Ellis & Yasmin Shahida
On September 14, 2011

  • Stephen Curry takes the court in a Davidson uniform. Curry, who left Davidson prior to graduation to play in the NBA, returned to campus for the fall semester. New York Daily News

The beginning of the semester has been more exhilarating than usual thanks to the surprise return of Stephen Curry. The Davidson student turned NBA point guard left as a junior to play for the Golden State Warriors and has now returned to complete his degree during the NBA lockout.

All students are buzzing with excitement to have the pro athlete back where he started on campus. Always known to be an incredibly personable student, Curry has readjusted to Davidson life as seamlessly as any student returning from a summer break or study abroad.

Many of the class of 2012 reflect fondly on the year they spent in 2009 with Curry. "He was so friendly and always said ‘hi' to everyone," Katherine Ness '12 remembered.

New students express a similar sentiment when considering the positive attitude Curry brings to campus today. "I bumped into him once in Chambers and he was very polite," Andrew Keesler '14 commented.

"I think it's admirable that Stephen made the decision to get a degree and not only focus on his athletic ability" Krista Catafago '14 remarked.

The general student population tends to agree. "Honorable," "respectable," "conscientious," "noble" and "hard-working" are some other ways students describe Curry's devotion to academics.

"Steph's commitment to education, to service and to the people around him are plainly evident and clearly reflect the values Davidson hold high," said Athletic Director Jim Murphy.

"Stephen's presence on campus is a clear and loud statement about his own personal commitment to Davidson College," Davidson basketball coach Bob McKillop observed, "and to his quest to be educated in a challenging and rigorous academic environment."

"He was a model student-athlete prior to his NBA career," McKillop added. "He has returned to conclude his commitment amidst the fame and the fortune of his brightly developing NBA career. What an outstanding model of excellence for prospective student-athletes to see!"

As Coach McKillop pointed out, Curry's greatest impact on campus this year will likely be on the basketball court.

Curry's "basketball IQ," improved by two years in the NBA, will be a huge asset to the leadership, guidance and direction of the Davidson men's team this season.

"When he plays with us, he elevates the play of everyone else on the court," said basketball player JP Kuhlman '13. "His confidence is contagious and spreads to the other guys on the team. Having him back will help us tremendously. Facing him on the court will prepare us for any player we play against this season."

Curry's former teammate Will Reigel '12 expressed similar sentiments.

"Practicing with Steph was a really cool experience," Reigel said. "Anytime you are able to work with someone who is one of the best in the world at their respective profession it is really special."

"My freshman year I was on the scout team," he said, "and was sometimes given the task of defending Steph in practice. Needless to say, it was not a whole lot of fun."

"People saw some amazing things that Steph did in games," Reigel said, "but oftentimes the things he did in practice were even more impressive."

The contagious excitement of Curry's return to campus is omnipresent. The excitement of having our own celebrity on campus reverberates through the student body. "It's awesome to walk through chambers and see someone you've seen in videogames," Sam Trawick,'14 pointed out.

Over the past few weeks Curry has proved to both his classmates and teammates that although he has earned fame in the NBA, he is still a wildcat at heart. As Coach McKillop said, "Our college and our program foster a rather unique, intimate family environment. What a delight when someone from your family comes back home!"


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