Image Credit: Getty Images
Steph Curry is an avid golf fan, and now he’s taking that love of the game to Howard University.
This morning, the six-time All-Star revealed that he’s partnering with Howard to help relaunch its dormant golf program, a union that will rebirth a program the Bison once maintained as far back as the 1950s.
But how did this all come about? With all of the big news Howard had been releasing lately, particularly when it comes to sports, golf hadn’t been mentioned. Turns out, according to Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post, it rose from an event that had nothing to do with golf.
After a screening at Howard at the start of the year for the documentary “Emmanuel”, which told the story of the 2015 murder of the nine black worshipers at a church in Charleston, S.C., Curry got into a discussion about golf with Howard student, Otis Ferguson.
Stephen Curry addresses the audience and introduces Howard Univ. student Otis Ferguson and explains why he’s so impactful to Curry being here today.
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) August 19, 2019
What started as a “shoot your shot” moment of inviting Curry to play golf, transformed into a discussion which got Curry’s wheels turning about golf and Howard. The university doesn’t currently have a team, so students with a passion for the sport have been left out of the game they love while on campus.
But golf is not absent from the ranks of all HBCU campuses though, at least not on the men’s side.
According to HBCU Gameday, there are 11 schools in the MEAC, the conference in which Howard competes, that field men’s programs.
After Curry and his Golden State Warriors were ultimately beaten by Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Finals, Curry shifted his attention back to golf and Howard, and now both men and women will be able to compete for the Bison.
“Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful,” Curry said in a 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 honored to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University.”
While financial figures haven’t been released, Curry’s team has stated that over the next six years, the NBA All-Star will make a seven-figure donation to the program, which enables the university to begin the process of launching a golf program. This includes searching for a coach, purchasing equipment, identifying a course and more.
It’s a major jump-start for a program that was discontinued sometime in the 1970s, according to Howard officials, one that will make the jump from DII to DI with Curry’s involvement.
But Curry isn’t just sticking to golf.
No, he’s taking it a step further by making future Bison golfers agree to volunteer with the “Eat. Learn. Play.” foundation run by Steph and his wife, Ayesha, which is dedicated to child development.
Curry’s participation will help break down the walls of access that oftentimes prevent people of color from partaking in the sport.
“Golf has always been a game of privilege,” said Howard Athletic Director, Kerry Davis. “An association with the sport can break down barriers.”
University officials say it will take about a year to hire a coach, recruit athletes and figure out where the golf teams will practice and play; but as of today, golf at Howard is a go once again.