Warriors’ Steph Curry meets top young players at Curry Camps

SAN FRANCISCO — Steph Curry can’t stop moving.

Running wild is one of his signatures on the basketball court and a tradition of his offseasons.

Since marching down Market Street to celebrate his fourth NBA title with the Warriors three months ago, Curry has golfed in Tahoe, hosted the ESPYs, treated hundreds of kids to an A game in Oakland. and celebrated the birthdays of his three children and his 11th wedding anniversary with his wife, Ayesha, in France.

Now he hosts 26 elite high school basketball players – 13 girls and 13 boys – at his Curry Camp, which is held at the San Francisco Olympic Club. A tradition that took a two-year hiatus amid the pandemic, but resumed this year with some of the country’s best young talent in-house, including identical twin phenoms Amen and Ausar Thompson and Division 1 rookies like UConn commits Ashlynn Shade.

During practices on Friday, Curry warmed up, held drills with his campers and even officiated scrums between boys and girls.

Isn’t he a little tired?

“Not at all,” Curry said. “Running on the adrenaline of the championship.”

Of course, Curry provided a little help with the intimate event. Former teammate and current free agent Kent Bazemore and his personal trainer Brandon Payne train alongside him with a team of people from Curry’s camp.

“I love giving that back knowing I have the opportunity to do that,” Curry said. “And I love being there engaged with the kids. I really have fun doing it.

And Friday’s special event was a full workout with Bob McKillop, Curry’s coach at Davidson College who just retired after 33 years. He hasn’t been easy with the kids, not being afraid to stand up in the personal space of young players.

“You’re on Curry’s team, you put on that shirt, you make sure you manage what it means,” McKillop said in a fiery pre-practice speech. “And what does that represent?” Does this represent the 3s shot? He’s shot 68% from layups this year, 98% from the foul line this year. He does everything while pulling wisely. But it is with the ball in his hands. He runs 2.5 miles per game. Because it cuts, helps, attacks space. Have you ever seen it on screen? He is one of the best screeners in the league. He is a complete player.

“I want you to start playing like Stephen today. I’m here to help you. I’m here to make you better players. I’m gonna kick your ass a little bit, but I’m gonna kick your ass because that I want to make you better.

McKillop’s voice echoed through the gymnasium as he led the boys through movement-based drills. Curry and Bazemore, more discreet but more active, performed the same exercises with the girls on the other side of the field.

“He’s actually tame,” Curry said. “I had it 15 years ago even more lively than that.”

Everything campers work on at Curry Camp is based on Curry’s career path. His 6-foot-3 frame made him a physical underdog before entering the league, which meant he had to grow into one of the most conditioned players in the NBA.

Stamina “directly” impacted Curry’s ability to perform as a kid at 34, Payne says. On the contrary, they hope that the young players in his camps copy those good habits that brought him here.

“That’s the key for me. I’m not a physical specimen, in the normal way you think of it, so all the details matter,” Curry said. “High school students, we send them a lot over the three days, so I know they won’t remember everything. But the details matter. Being coachable is important. Dealing with failure matters. The nuances of footwork, body control. It’s not just about how good you are, it’s about doing the things that make your team better. We’re hammering in those points so they can hopefully embrace that mentality in the game.”

Apart from the good habits, the children will also leave with a huge box of treats. Curry gave each player about five pairs of his Curry-branded shoes — some of which have yet to be made public — and a slew of other gear.

Curry is running out of room to run this offseason with training camp approaching. He took breaks to see how the Warriors reorganize to defend their 2022 title.

“I’m excited,” Curry said. “It’s going to be a bit different, but you can mix the Championship experience with what we were at the start of last year. Put it all together and try to keep going. Defending is tough, but we’re excited for this opportunity .

After this three-day event, Curry will begin to focus on next season with Payne and his coaches. Are they surprised that he has energy left?

“At this point, not really,” Payne said. “You just expected it. But after this camp, it’s time to refocus and prepare.

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