© 2021 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Charlotte Area

End of an era at Davidson

Stephen Curry with Davidson Head Coach bob Mckillop on left.

Perhaps the most famous face in the history of Davidson College announced today he's leaving. Junior basketball star Stephen Curry is making himself eligible for this summer's NBA draft. It ends a storybook college career of a baby face sharp-shooter who put a small town - and an even smaller school - on the national map. WFAE's Scott Graf reports: Up until 10:00 this morning, not even Stephen Curry knew if Stephen Curry would stay in school for his final year of eligibility, or chase a childhood dream and go pro. Curry's friends, parents, teammates, even the school president, packed a small classroom in Davidson's Belk Arena. Then, a visibly nervous Curry made his intentions known. "My goal since I can remember, was always to play in the NBA," he told the crowd. "And that goal has now become a viable opportunity for me. After weighing my options I came to the conclusion that it's in my best interest to take hold of that opportunity now." Curry says he made the decision over an omelet at the student commons cafeteria about an hour and a half before showing up to the arena. He says he's been told he'll get drafted somewhere in the top 20. After the 21-year-old made his announcement, his head coach, Bob Mckillop, spoke. He had to choke back his emotions. "As special as he has been to us," McKillop said, "he will be equally special in the NBA. And I've been uh, incredibly fortunateto have the opportunity to coach him for these three years." Curry's announcement effectively ends one of the best chapters in Davidson history. Jim Murphy is the school's athletic director. He says for the last three years, Curry has been the face of the college. " That has elevated our status tremendously in the eyes of high school students around the country, college students around the country, sports fans around the country, and educators," he says. "Really, it's a great day for us." The high point of the Curry era undoubtedly came during last year's NCAA tournament. Murphy says when Curry led the Wildcats on a 10-day run that ended to one basket shy of the Final Four, it transformed an entire community. "The sense of accomplishment," Murphy says, "the thrill, and the ecstasy that came with it that everybody seemed to feeland that was on every face in the crowd throughout the town for so longI mean, it lasted for months, was really something special." As for the next chapter in Curry's life, his father, Dell, himself a 16-year NBA veteran, says his son's game is ready for the world's premiere basketball league. But Stephen's mother, Sonya, who's the principal at a montessori school the family started in Huntersville 15 years ago, says her son still has some unfinished business on campus - his degree. "I'm anxiously looking forward to how that's going to work out," she says. "Dell and I have talked about, you know, they put in contracts that players get their degrees within three years or the player has to pay them back money. So I'm anxious to be a part of that, those negotiations." But for now, Curry's next few weeks will be a whirlwind of workouts in front of NBA scouts and front office people, when he'll try to improve his already high draft status.