Stephen Curry Hosts 14 Youth From Make-A-Wish® America
On Tuesday, December 15, Warriors Star Guard Stephen Curry granted the wishes of 14 youth affiliated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to spend a day with him. The young men, who travelled from as far as New York, Michigan, Florida and Texas to meet the back-to-back NBA MVP, started their visit that morning at the Warriors Practice Facility in downtown Oakland.
“I chose Stephen Curry as my Wish because I admire him and the Warriors are my favorite team in the NBA,” said 9-year-old Moises Padilla from Danville, IL. “Because of the Make-A-Wish Foundation I have a chance to be here and see the Warriors play.”
The 14 youth and their guardians had the opportunity to watch the Warriors morning shootaround from the upper-level balcony, having the perfect vantage point to watch the Bay Area’s team hone their skills across three full-length basketball courts. At the end of shootaround, the youth walked onto the court to meet the entire Warriors roster and coaching staff and joined them for their final huddle.
“It’s an amazing feeling to see your son as happy as [Antonio] was today,” said Amy Bernal, mother of 9-year old Antonio Lara. “Being able to watch the team’s practice and join the huddle was something he will never forget.”
The 14 excited young men then took a seat on the sideline as Curry performed his customary 3-point shooting routine to gasps and applause. Curry then met each of the youth, who suffer from life-threatening medical conditions, to share good wishes and appreciation for visiting him today.
“My son Khamari’s wish was to meet Stephen Curry, and through the Make-A-Wish Foundation he was able to meet him one-on-one and spend time together,” said 9-year-old Khamari Campbell’s father Terek Campbell. “This experience has been unexplainable because his dream really came true today. My son knows more about Stephen than anyone on earth, so to have him actually meet this down-to-earth role model is amazing.”
Curry then surprised each of the boys with gifts, including a duffel bag full of Under Armour gear, an Under Amour basketball and a large framed photo. Curry signed each of the items for the youth and hosted them for a free-throw shooting competition on the court.
“Seeing my son’s face is making me cry, because he is really happy to be here to meet his hero,” said Angelis Carrera-Lopez, the mother of Jenzell Carrera. “Stephen has been very social and happy to spend time playing with the kids; it’s obvious he is a great guy.”
Later that day, the families rejoined Curry at Oracle Arena, sitting courtside for shootaround as the team prepared to play the New York Knicks. The boys excitedly squirmed in their seats as Curry hit each three-pointer and grinned as a Warriors player stopped by to say hello to them.
“I’m here to see the Golden State Warriors and the New York Knicks, and I am so excited to be here because it is my dream to be at Oracle Arena,” said 7-year-old Jenzell Carerra. “Today is a dream come true because I never that it would happen.”
The youth and their families then enjoyed the game in the Oracle Zone in Section 121, cheering as the Warriors won 103-90. During the game, the families enjoyed snack boxes courtesy of Levy Cares. At the end of the night, Curry reflected on what it meant to him to host these young men on Warriors Ground.
“It was an amazing opportunity to fulfill the wishes of kids who were dealt a pretty tough hand,” said Curry. “I had a lot of support in making their days as special as possible, and hope they and their families had a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Curry’s Make-A-Wish grants were part of the Warriors Season of Giving community outreach initiative, as Warriors players and coaches host events throughout the months of November and December to brighten the lives of youth and families this holiday season.