Stephen Curry set an NBA record with 272 made 3-pointers this past season, and the impact of each one stretched far beyond helping the Warriors win games. Really, really far actually. About 10,000 miles away from the raucous crowds of Oracle Arena is Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in a remote part of western Tanzania, and each Curry 3-pointer last season meant three life-saving bed nets there and in other parts of Africa with a critical need for bed nets to prevent malaria.
Today, Curry finds himself in Africa getting a firsthand account of just what kind of impact his shooting exploits had on this region that is so heavily affected by this disease.
What are these bed nets and why are they needed? The first part is easy and the second part is quite disturbing. These bed nets are insecticide-treated mosquito nets that can kill and repel mosquitoes, which can transmit malaria to humans. These nets are needed because malaria kills more than 600,000 people every year, mostly in Africa and mostly children younger than 5.
Curry has long been a committed Champion of the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, going all the way back to his college days at Davidson when his roommate began the BUZZKILL Foundation that aims to prevent the spread of malaria.
Malaria kills one person every 60 seconds in Africa. Last year in Nyarugusu, there were more than 62,000 documented cases of the disease. Considering there are only 68,000 who live in the camp, malaria is almost the rule rather than the exception. These bed nets can certainly improve those numbers, as they provide a cost-effective solution ($10 per net) that can reduce the spread of malaria by 90 percent in areas with high coverage rates.
“You just try to use the platform the best way you can,” Curry told Warriors TV this past Spring. “A lot of people who watch our games may not be as aware of the problem of malaria and how preventable it is.”
You may have seen the video below before, and perhaps you remember it more for seeing well-known sports columnist Rick Reilly with his shirt off, but the cause is so much more important than the temporary topless embarrassment. Reilly, who joined Curry on this African venture, is 100 percent committed to Nothing But Nets and fighting Malaria in Africa. In fact, it was one of his columns in Sports Illustrated in 2006 that led to the creation of Nothing But Nets.
For Curry, as great as he has been on the court for the Warriors, his best assist might just be the one he’s giving now to these deserving families in Africa.
- Donate to Nothing But Nets – One net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver, and educate the recipient on its proper use
For more on Curry’s lifesaving trip to Africa, check out the tweets and photos below.
Back from the day w/@nothingbutnets in Tanzania, where it's close to 1 Wednesday AM. What an amazing experience it's already been.— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) July 30, 2013