Coming out of Charlotte Christian High School in 2006, Stephen Curry was a skinny 6-foot-2, 165-pound kid without elite athleticism; not the kind of college prospect that coaches usually envision leading them to March Madness glory. As a result, Steph — son of 16-year NBA veteran Dell Curry — received minimal college interest. Ranked as the No. 256 player and No. 52 point guard in the class of 2006, Curry was far from the Golden State Warriors sensation he is today. Nobody knew what Stephen Curry would do for Davidson College in March Madness, let alone becoming a future Hall of Famer.
Getting offers from smaller schools such as Wofford, William & Mary, High Point, Davidson, Curry wasn't seen as a high-level Division I college player, much less a future two-time NBA MVP.
Curry did have one offer from a Power Five/Big East conference school in Virginia Tech, his father's alma mater, but it was only to walk on. Instead, the guard committed to a regional Southern Conference team in Davidson — school roughly 20 miles from his hometown.
Davidson was a quality program, at least for the conference they were in. The year prior to Curry's arrival, the Wildcats won 20 games and made the NCAA Tournament.
Regardless, when the sharpshooting point guard arrived on campus, he immediately established himself as not only one of the best players on the team but one of the best freshmen in the entire country.
Stephen Curry's college career didn't get off to a great start though. In his first game, Curry would commit 13 turnovers.
However, the next game, Curry would face off against future teammate Ekpe Udoh and Michigan. Despite losing, the 6-foot-2 guard would put up 32 points and prove to the world that he was a force to be reckoned with
In his first year, Curry would light it up for the Wildcats, averaging a SoCon-leading 21.5 points per game along with, 2.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds while shooting over 45 percent the field and 40 percent from deep.
Texas freshman and another one of Curry's future teammates in Kevin Durant would go on to win national freshman of the year honors that season and Davidson would lose in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but it was clear — the Wildcats had something special on their hands.
Flashback to when Steph Curry got Lebron respect while playing at Davidson – scoring 44 points. #TodayInSports #NBAPlayoffs #NBA #DubNation
— TodayInSports (@TodayInSportsCo) May 17, 2019
The next season, everyone, at least everyone in the Southern Conference knew Curry was a star. Growing an inch and adding a few pounds of muscle, Curry would once again lead the conference in scoring with 25.5 while also leading Davidson to a perfect 20-0 in conference play.
Earning their third straight NCAA Tournament in as many years, Davidson would be matched up against seven seed Gonzaga. Early in the second half, the Bulldogs held an 11-point lead. That's when Curry, the 2008 SoCon Player of the Year caught fire. The future Warriors star would score 30 of his 40 points that game in the second half to lead Davidson to an 82-76 upset.
However, behind Curry's hot hand, the 10-seed Davidson Wildcats weren't done just yet. In another 30-plus-point game for the Wildcats guard, Davidson would upset a Roy Hibbert-led Georgetown team that was considered one of the best teams in college basketball that year.
On this day in 2008, Steph Curry and Davidson beat (2) Georgetown. Steph dropped 30. pic.twitter.com/dLcIJ9LAtV
— Ball Don’t Lie (@Balldontlie) March 23, 2020
In the Sweet 16, the Sophomore sensation would drop 33 points and Davidson would handily beat three seed Wisconsin.
Davidson's magical run would, unfortunately, run out in the Elite Eight against a 35-win Kansas team that was stocked with future NBA talent and would go on to win the title that year. Despite the loss, Curry remained hot with 25 points and setting the NCAA record for most three-pointers in a single season with 162 — a record that he would go on to set in the NBA as well.
11 years ago today, Steph Curry was a junior at Davidson.
And he gave MSG a show at the Jimmy V Classic 🍿 pic.twitter.com/iXsBjlXD6z
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 9, 2019
The Wildcat's Sweet 16 run put Curry on the map in a national sense. The one-time 52nd ranked point guard in the class of 2006 was starting to be seen as a legitimate NBA prospect. Curry's junior season cemented that idea even further.
That year, Curry would set a new career-high for points with 44, assists with 13 again, but after losing in the conference tournament at the end of the year, Davidson's NCAA Tournament streak would end. They did make the NIT, but only lasted through the second round.
Despite that, Curry was named a first-team All-American after leading the country in scoring with 28.6 per game while also progressing as a point guard dishing out a career-high 5.6 assists per game.
Curry would opt out of his senior season and would leave Davidson as the program's all-time leading scorer. In his three years as a Wildcat, Curry captivated the nation with effortless scoring and dominant performances — not too bad for the 256th best player in the class of 2006.
Now, Stephen Curry remains as one of the best players in the NBA and will go down in history as one of the greatest shooters- if not the greatest- to ever play the game.