When NBA basketball star Stephen Curry visited his alma mater Charlotte Christian School (CCS) in September, he wore a snazzy pair of bright blue shoes with red laces.
The school had surprised students with Curry’s visit, which included the NBA Championship trophy his Golden State Warriors won this year. But the attention soon turned to an announcement Curry made about his shoes.
“These are my Charlotte-Christian-inspired shoes that I am very, very proud of and are coming out soon,” he told the students who packed the school’s gym that day. “This is something that brings it all home.
“I am able to share my story with not only people that watch basketball but anyone that comes in contact with these shoes and be able to share my testimony, faith and witness, and a little bit about myself.”
The Curry Two “Providence Road” shoe, which is made by Under Armour, is inspired in part by Curry’s time at CCS. The shoe’s colors – blue, red and white – were Charlotte Christian’s colors when Curry played there. He graduated in 2006.
A North Carolina flag is sewn inside the shoe’s tongue, and “704” is etched on the aglet of the laces as an homage to Curry’s North Carolina roots.
“They look so nice that I don’t even want to play in them,” said Terrelle Brown, a sophomore and member of the CCS varsity basketball team. “I just want to put them in a glass box and look at them.”
Under Armour and Curry gave the 13 members of the Charlotte Christian boys’ varsity basketball team and its coaches a pair of Providence Road shoes in November.
The players wore them for the first time in a game against Queens Grant – which the CCS Knights won 62-60 – on Nov. 24, the day before the shoes were available for sale. They come in sizes for all ages, including toddlers.
Curry and Under Armour sponsor the CCS boys varsity basketball team and have donated apparel in the past.
“(Curry) wore those shoes that day (in September), and I thought, ‘I hope we get those shoes,’” said CCS senior Taylor Burch, who plays on the basketball team.
Players note that the shoes wear well on the court. Most don’t practice in them, but instead save the shoes to wear in games.
“Not only do they look cool, but they are really comfortable,” Burch said.
They look so nice that I don’t even want to play in them.
Terrelle Brown, member of the Charlotte Christian varsity basketball team
Brown and Burch watched Curry play for CCS when they were in elementary school, and Curry was Burch’s counselor years ago at a basketball camp run by longtime CCS basketball coach Shonn Brown.
“I can remember sitting on a bench with him and just talking,” Burch said. “He was still humble, and he made me feel like I was important and he cared about me.”
Curry’s CCS teachers point out that Curry’s hard work, humility and desire to excel are evident as he’s achieved great success in his sport.
“I am really proud of what he has accomplished,” said Bob Angley, a CCS upper school math teacher who taught Curry. “He took his skills, his work ethic, that inner drive, that belief in himself when most others doubted, and put in the time to become a great player.
“Through it all he remains committed to his core beliefs and is not ashamed to be a Christ follower. He’s a role model for many.”
Shonn Brown, who is Terrelle Brown’s father, said that Curry is inspirational because while he’s not a particularly tall, he worked hard and focused on his goal.
“Any time he saw opportunity, he tried to seize that opportunity and move up to the next thing,” Shonn Brown said.
Shonn Brown tells his players that Curry’s Providence Road shoes don’t come with “made baskets, steals and assists.”
It’s not just about the game.
“We want to be thankful,” Shonn Brown said, “but realize that someone is giving back and being a good steward of their resources.”
Marty Minchin is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.