Following his fourth NBA title and MVP Finals win, the Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry often use the phrase “What are they going to say now?” with respect to his professional resume. But now, the same is true for his college career.
On Wednesday, Curry was inducted into Davidson College’s Hall of Fame, retired his jersey number and received his diploma in a ceremony at the school’s Belk Arena.
“This is an absolutely incredible day and an amazing moment for me and my family,” said Curry. “The best decision I ever made was to come to Davidson College and pursue an education, join an amazing community and, most importantly, play for the amazing men who have built this program at Coach. [Bob] McKillop.”
Curry finished his degree in May with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology but was unable to attend college graduation in the spring due to the NBA playoffs. So he gets an individual start on Wednesday.
“To earn this title, you demonstrated determination and perseverance,” Davidson president Doug Hicks said at the ceremony. “It would be very, very easy not to finish your college degree. But in response to that idea, you do what you do to 29 other NBA organizations, you say, ‘night, night.'”
Earning his title fulfills a promise Curry made to his mother, Sonya, 13 years ago when Curry declared his mandatory military service. But, it’s also a prerequisite for having his jersey retired — a rule that applies at Davidson.
Sonya spoke at the ceremony, reflecting on how she originally wanted her son to attend a more reputable school, but her mind changed when she saw how happy Curry was at Davidson.
Curry’s father Dell touched on his son’s work ethic and noted that the next time he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, “you know where that is going.”
McKillop, Curry’s former coach and Davidson’s winning coach in the school’s history, concluded his speech, saying, “There is hope in the world because of Stephen Curry.”
Curry attended Davidson College from 2006 to 2009 and during those three years became the school’s all-time leader in points, three-pointers, free throws, field goals and steals.
Curry also completed his college career as the all-time leading scorer of the Southern Conference, setting an NCAA record with 162 triples in 2008, was the 2009 Southern Conference Men’s Athlete of the Year and was a consensus All-American in 2009. He led the Wildcats to Elite Eight in 2008.
“Every president at every graduation makes a hopeful statement about the future of the graduate,” Hicks said. “In that spirit, I hereby predict, with confidence, Stephen Curry, that you will enjoy great success in your life and career after college.”
After the opening speech, Curry’s wife Ayesha and children Riley, Ryan, and Canon joined him on stage.
As of Wednesday, Davidson had only retired eight shirts, but never jersey numbers. Curry’s number 30 became the first number to be retired, meaning none of Davidson’s men’s basketball players will ever wear the number 30 again.
As the crowd counts down to 10, Curry and his family pull a basketball-shaped lever to reveal his jersey hanging from the ceiling and forever indoctrinating him into Davidson’s history.
“I’m a graduate,” Curry said ending his speech. “I’m a Davidson alumni and I’m in the Hall of Fame. And that’s pretty crazy.”