Joey Beeler, Davidson’s men’s basketball sports information director, got 19 calls to his office telephone Sunday from kids trying to reach former Davidson standout and reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry.
On Monday, he received 23 calls for Curry.
On Tuesday, he had his office number changed.
The small, liberal arts school has been inundated with requests from inside and outside its small community for the school’s biggest sports star. Beeler has gotten a large portion of it, but solicitations have been wide-ranging across the school as fans and alumni try to reach Curry during his championship push, where his Golden State Warriors trail the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-1 in the best-of-7 NBA Finals.
“I’d say 75 percent of them, the first question they ask is, ‘Is this Steph Curry?” Beeler said. “Sometimes it’ll be for his shoes. I’ve had requests for (his 2-year-old daughter) Riley. A lot are cute and want him to come to their birthday party.”
As the gatekeeper of Davidson men’s basketball, Beeler fields requests from media outlets trying to get in touch with coach Bob McKillop. But he’s also been answering calls from kids across the country wanting various things from Curry, and it’s been difficult to do his regular job.
Old online post to blame
The calls started coming in when Curry became a serious contender for the MVP award around February’s All-Star break. They grew as the Warriors went to the playoffs, and they reached a tipping point in recent weeks when, Beeler surmises, school let out.
“Hello, um, can you tell Stephen Curry that he did good at his game today and that he’s my No. 1 fan,” says one fan. “I love Stephen Curry. Bye.”
“Hey, I’m just trying to talk to Steph Curry and see can I play for the Golden State Warriors,” another boy says. “And, I want to talk to his agent, so he can be my agent. OK? OK.”
Beeler finally went to Google, where he found a Yahoo Q&A that revealed why he was getting so many calls.
“Does Anyone Know how to contact Stephen Curry?” one user asks in May 2008 when Curry was a sophomore at Davidson.
A user responded with the office number for Mark Gignac, who at the time was with Davidson’s sports information department. That number has remained in use for the past seven years and, until Tuesday, was Beeler’s number.
It’s not just Steph
The requests haven’t been directed only at Beeler, and they haven’t come only from children, either. At least one Davidson alumna wants Curry’s daughter, Riley, to wear some of her shop’s clothes.
Leigh Rawdon, a 1995 Davidson graduate, owns Tea Collection, a children’s clothing store based in San Francisco whose clothes can be found at Nordstrom stores nationwide. She reached out to Davidson trying to get some of her clothes to Riley, who has been a show-stealer at her dad’s postseason post-game interviews.
Rawdon was eventually linked up with Lauren Biggers, Davidson’s assistant director of alumni relations and friend of Curry’s. Rawdon sent Biggers about a dozen items – including some of Tea’s signature knit dresses and tights – so Biggers could ship them to the Currys.
“I think there are people at the height of their sport where that’s a common thing,” Biggers said, “but I’d be interested to see someone in a similar situation as Steph: from a small school that hasn’t had many professional athletes and then the MVP.
“But that’s the characteristic of a place like Davidson, where everybody knows everybody and everybody is used to reaching out to anybody. All those things together add up to an interesting situation.”
Tea is in San Francisco and Rawdon lives in Oakland. Rawdon could almost walk to Oracle Arena, where Curry plays, faster than shipping clothes to Davidson first. But her first instinct was to get in touch with her alma mater.
“Davidson is so great and they said, ‘why don’t you send us a package and we’ll get it to them,’” Rawdon said. “For us, it’s just the fun of knowing that Riley will have some of our dresses.”
Jones: 704-358-5323; Twitter: @jjones9