Stephen Curry Helps Howard University Revitalize Golf Program

NBA star Stephen Curry is helping bring golf back to Howard University’s athletic program for the next six years.

The Golden State Warrior star said during a press conference on August 19 that he made a seven-figure donation to the historically Black university to revitalize its golf teams, CBS Sports reported. The golf team will compete in Division I of the NCAA, along with 19 other Division I teams at Howard, according to a university press release. The university previously had a Division II golf program that shut down 40 years ago.

“Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful,” Curry said. “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, and look forward to building their first men’s and women’s golf teams with them.”

According to CBS Sports, the two-time MVP champion met Otis Ferguson, a Howard University student in January while watching a documentary about the 2015 shooting of nine Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina. Ferguson told Curry that he stopped playing golf to attend Howard University because the school did not have a golf program. The student’s story inspired Curry to bring golf back to the university.

"The idea around re-creating Howard's golf team and turning it into a Division I program for men and women was born on that specific night," Curry said during the press conference. "Now, seven and a half or eight months later, we're here."

The university plans to compete in the sport during the 2020/2021 academic school year. In a statement, Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick said the university was “honored” to bring back the program with the six-time All Star winner.

“Howard University is honored to partner with NBA Champion Stephen Curry to launch what is sure to become one of the best golf programs in the country,” Frederick said in a statement.

“This program will expose the campus to a game with numerous benefits. Golf is unique because it can be played through various ages of life. Grandfathers can play with granddaughters. Expanding the competitive opportunities for student athletes, especially in arenas where they are underrepresented, is consistent with the university’s strategic plan.”

The basketball star has often looked for ways to give back to others. Curry and his wife, Ayesha Curry, donated $25,000 in 2018 through The Stephen & Ayesha Curry Family Foundation, to a GoFundMe page for golfer Scott Harrington and his wife, Jenn, who is battling cancer, CBS Sports previously reported.

"Jenn and I want to thank Ellie Mae and the Ayesha and Stephen Curry Foundation for such a generous gift," Harrington said at the time

"Steph called us personally today to tell us what they were planning to do, and that really meant so much to us for him to reach out like that, and for him and the event organizers to think of us. This has been a very trying few months and there are more difficult times ahead, but we're optimistic that Jenn will kick this thing and get back to the healthy, active life she's led for so long."

In March, The Stephen & Ayesha Curry Family Foundation launched a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) scholarship program for young women in the San Francisco Bay Area. The scholarship was inspired by Riley Morrison, a nine-year-old girl who sent a letter to Curry in 2018, who said she was disappointed his Under Armour sneakers were not available in girl’s sizes.

The basketball star collaborated with Morrison to make a design of the shoe for girls, which was named the Curry 6 “United We Win,” and released the shoe on International Women’s Day. The funds from the shoe will help launch the scholarship program.

“Inspired by a nine year-old Riley Morrison, who had the courage to speak out against gender inequality, The Stephen & Ayesha Curry Family Foundation is funding an annual scholarship that’s given to a college-bound female student from the Bay Area who has shown an aptitude for overcoming adversity, catalyzing change within her community, and demonstrating excellence in a STEM-related field of study,” the organization previously tweeted.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.