Would you believe that before he became a basketball superstar and arguably one of the best shooters in the NBA, Steph Curry was a kid from Akron, Ohio who was overlooked by major college basketball programs, which included his father’s Alma Mater, Virginia Tech?
According to Forbes, Virginia Tech only offered Curry a chance as a walk-on player. Ultimately, the Charlotte Christian School senior enrolled at Davidson College, a small liberal arts institution with just 1,800-student enrollment.
In an article published on The Players’ Tribune, Curry announced his plan to launch a new basketball camp for overlooked prospects called The Underrated Tour, which is open to all high school players with a three-star ranking or lower.
“It basically goes like this,” says Steph Curry. “You’ve got all of these camps out there, right? All these basketball camps, across the country, around the world. And it’s great, man. It’s special. Those camps are how a lot of NBA guys originally made names for themselves. And we should keep that going! But there’s another thing about these camps I’ve been thinking about. And it’s how, if you take a closer look, you’ll see that it’s the same, exclusive group of kids participating in them, over and over. It’s these same four or five-star recruits, players every scout already knows, going from city to city, camp to camp.”
The Underrated Tour will provide the opportunity for players to develop their skills and gain national exposure. Steph Curry created this program with the overlooked and underestimated players in mind, an experience that he knows all too well.
“And I guess I just got to thinking about how, you know — taking nothing away from those kids, those blue-chip prospects. But what about all the other kids?” he continued. “What about the kids who, for one reason or another, because of one perceived shortcoming or another, are getting labeled as two or three-star recruits? Now I’m not saying those kids need to be at every camp. (Honestly, man, no one does.) But if we have it set up so those kids can’t get invites to any camp? Then I think we’ve got a problem. Because then I think we’re putting kids — kids who love to hoop, and who should be out there exploring that love — in a situation where a bunch of limits are being placed on them by other people. A situation where the limits of what they can accomplish are being put in place before they’ve gotten to test those limits for themselves.”
“This is Stephen’s brainchild and predicated on who he is and his experiences. It is personal to him because it is so reflective of his story,” says Jeron Smith, the former Nike executive, who serves as Steph Curry’s business partner and chief marketing officer of his company, SC30 Inc.
The Underrated Tour will begin in Los Angeles on January 19 with six more stops planned through March in cities across the United States. Camps will include instruction on basketball fundamentals, special guests and lessons on collegiate needs and NCAA eligibility.