Lake Norman & Mooresville

Titan hopes to lead way to strong season finish

Tyrone Curry has waited a long time for his chance to lead the Hopewell basketball team.

From the time his oldest brother, Brandyn, who's now the starting point guard at Harvard, starred for the Titans, Curry has dreamed of the day when he would play a leading role.

"I started thinking about all of this my freshman year, when I remember walking around school hearing about my brother, Brandyn, being a superstar and it was his team," said Curry, now a 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior. "I couldn't wait to play for the varsity and then one day get the opportunity for it to be my team. That time has come."

Brandyn and Tyrone Curry are just half of a talented sibling quartet that has graced the Hopewell basketball family in the last decade.

Daron Curry, who graduated last year, and sophomore forward Bryanna Curry, who averages 12 points per game as one of the top players on the Titans' girls' basketball team, round out the Curry siblings.

"Bryanna is actually the only Curry to make the varsity as a freshman," Tyrone said. "We all take a lot of pride in her success."

While Bryanna and her Titan team are in first-place in the I-Meck and are headed towards a definite playoff spot, her brother and his Hopewell squad are fighting for their postseason lives with just two weeks left in the regular season.

The Titans (4-12, 2-5 going into last Friday's West Charlotte game) are currently one spot out of the postseason mix in sixth place in the I-Meck and must overtake Vance for the final spot to take the playoffs.

Hopewell is in a familiar spot, as they were 2-5 in the I-Meck at the same point last year, when Curry played a key role as they reeled off five conference wins to cement their playoff berth.

A lot of the pressure will fall on Curry's shoulders as he leads his team in scoring at 11 points per contest.

"Basically, this team is going to go as far Tyrone Curry can take us," said Hopewell coach Damon Bost. "We haven't had the season we wanted to so far, but there is a lot of basketball left to play and all we need to is get that playoff ticket and it's a whole new season."

Hopewell has struggled because of youth, having two freshmen starters, but will depend on seniors like Curry, Chris Strickland, Cameron Moore and Darius Smalls to provide experience down the stretch.

But Curry is now in the lead role, in more than one way.

Curry took over the point guard role this season because his team needed his experience, ball-handling and leadership at the position. Bost also likes to get him off the ball at times for more consistent shooting and scoring.

"We asked a lot of Tyrone to move to the point guard spot," Bost said. "I think he is getting comfortable there and learning how he can be the most effective for this team."

Curry has gotten a lot of advice from Brandyn, who is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award given to the NCAA's top point guard.

"Brandyn has taught me a lot of things," said the youngest brother. "But the main thing that sticks with me that he always says 'Nothing is ever given to you and you have to outwork people.' The work ethic he had separated him from a lot of other great players. That's what I try to do every day in practice and in games."

While Curry hopes to have a finish to remember for Hopewell, he also hopes to follow his brother to the college basketball ranks.

Curry is receiving interest from Elon, Emory & Henry (Va.), Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) and Western Carolina, according to Bost. While Curry is looking forward to a future in basketball, his focus is also on getting a good education.

"I do want to play basketball, but first I want to get into a good college and pursue my degree," Curry said. "But basketball has always been a big part of my life and I definitely want to keeping playing as long as I can."