Steph Curry honored by high school, college in return to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stephen Curry said he doesn’t have many regrets in life.

But the two-time NBA MVP shared one on Tuesday, saying he wishes he had tried out for the varsity team as a freshman rather than settle for playing junior varsity.

“I went through some doubts about whether I could play on the varsity level at the time,” Curry said before a halftime ceremony at Charlotte Christian High School in which his No. 20 – yes, No. 20 – jersey was retired.

Tryouts back then were in separate gyms – the varsity in the upper gym and the junior varsity in the lower gym. Curry, who was a mere 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds at the time, chose the lower gym. He developed nicely on JV and later played three years on varsity, a springboard for playing at Davidson College and later the Golden State Warriors.

“But I wished I had pushed myself,” Curry said. “That taught me a lot – to just go for it and challenge yourself in that regard and not let doubts or what people might tell you or how short or skinny you might be deter you from where you want to be.”

Curry said he would have worn No. 30 in high school but laughed and said the jersey was too big for him.

“I was a scrawny kid,” Curry said.

Later in the night, Curry was honored during halftime of Davidson’s game against Duquesne. The student section at Davidson’s John M. Belk Area was named in honor of Curry, the school’s all-time leading scorer. The new section will be called “Section 30,” in honor of the number Curry wore with the Wildcats during their run to the Elite 8.

Davidson won’t retire Curry’s number until he completes his college degree, part of a long-standing school rule. Curry left Davidson after his junior year for the NBA draft.

Curry was in town in advance of the Warriors’ game Wednesday night against the Charlotte Hornets.

Because of Curry’s popularity here – as well as around the country – it’s a difficult ticket to get.

The reigning two-time MVP remains in the top spot on the NBA’s most popular jersey list, the league announced Tuesday. Curry’s sales came in ahead of Cleveland’s LeBron James at No. 2 and his new Warriors teammate Kevin Durant at No. 3.

And Curry always seems to put on quite a show when he returns, averaging 36.3 points and 6.7 assists while shooting 53 percent from the field and 92 percent from the free-throw line in the last three games against Charlotte.

Curry’s high school coach Shonn Brown said he never would have guessed Curry would become the star player he’s become. But Brown was quick to add, “That’s man’s eyes, not God’s eyes.”

Brown said Curry’s basketball IQ stood out to him right away in high school.

During one practice, Curry repeatedly threw a pass to an open spot on the floor, and the ball would bounce out of bounds resulting in a turnover. Finally, an exasperated Brown looked at Curry and asked, “What are you doing?”

Curry responded by telling his coach his teammate was supposed to make that cut and be there to catch the pass.

“I stepped back and realized this guy sees one, two, three steps ahead of what is happening,” Brown said. “And now you see how that has kind of manifested itself over and over again.”

Curry’s high school teachers Dean Harley and Eva Crawford remember Curry as being a humble young man.

“And nothing has changed,” Crawford said.

Curry said he always dreamed of playing in the NBA, even back at high school. In his yearbook he wrote that his future goal was to play in the league.

“It’s hard to picture being back here and celebrating what we are celebrating and how my NBA has gone,” Curry said.