COLLABORATION

What do the NBA, Howard University & golf have in common? – Steph Curry

SOURCE: Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP
NBA player Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors tees off on the seventh hole during Round Two of the Ellie Mae Classic at TBC Stonebrae on August 10, 2018 in Hayward, California.

An unusual and high-profile collaboration is behind Howard University bringing back its long-dormant college golf programme.

The Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry announced a seven-figure donation last week to establish the first Division I men’s and women’s golf teams in the 152-year history of the historically black university in Washington DC.

“No matter where you come from or what socioeconomic background you had, we all were that kid once upon a time that was just excited about finding out who they were as a person through athletics,” the Golden State Warriors guard told The Washington Post.

Though Curry’s representatives wouldn’t confirm exactly how much money he is donating to the school, they did confirm it will be a seven-figure commitment over the next six years.

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Curry has made no secret of his love for golf over his past few seasons. Earlier this year, the basketball powerhouse launched his own line of Under Armour golf apparel and played in several celebrity golf tournaments.

The sport regularly comes up at press conferences and he even launched a TV show on ABC about miniature golf this year.

Curry was reportedly inspired to make the generous donation by Howard senior and golfer, Otis Ferguson IV, whom he met during a visit to the university campus earlier this year. Curry was compelled to act when Ferguson shared that his impassioned solo crusade to get a golf team at Howard proved unsuccessful.

stephen curry golf
NBA player Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors chips on to the green on the 16th hole during Round Two of the Ellie Mae Classic at TBC Stonebrae on August 10, 2018 in Hayward, California. Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

“Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful,” said the NBA star in a press release.

“It’s a discipline that challenges your mental wherewithal from patience to focus, and is impossible to truly master, so when you hear about these passionate student athletes who have the talent but don’t have a fair shot at the game, it’s tough. I feel really honoured to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University, and look forward to building their first men’s and women’s golf teams with them.”

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The new programme is slated to be launched during the 2020/2021 academic year with hopes of a competitive Division 1 team in place for its inaugural season. Curry’s donation will ensure the university has the resources to make this happen, as well as the capacity for talent scouting to make sure the top-flight team is successful.

“Howard University is honoured to partner with NBA Champion Stephen Curry to launch what is sure to become one of the best golf programmes in the country,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick.

“This programme will expose the campus to a game with numerous benefits. Golf is unique because it can be played through various ages of life. Grandfathers can play with granddaughters. Expanding the competitive opportunities for student athletes, especially in arenas where they are underrepresented, is consistent with the university’s strategic plan.”