In light of the 2016 NBA Finals and the Golden State Warriors epic season, many people are taking note of two-time MVP Stephen Curry and his talent. Not only is the man amazing during the game, but now his pre-game warmups are starting to gain popularity as well. And what is just as impressive is that through his ability, many are also beginning to pick up on his strong commitment to his faith in Jesus Christ. Although Curry isn’t an “in your face” type of outspoken evangelical we all groan when we see, there are some subtle things he does to effectively get the point across instead.
Point to the Sky
After Curry makes a three point shot at the perfect clutch moment, he often taps his chest and points to the sky. In a video posted online in 2013, Curry described that little hand gesture as essentially an acknowledgment to God, the One who has blessed him with his talents. He does it “as a way to kind of just preach the message in little ways that I can.”
In a more recent interview with The Mercury News, he goes more depth…
“Back in college my freshman year, my mom and I started that. Every time after the national anthem stopped, I’d find her in the stands whenever she came to my game and we’d do the sign to each other. Basically means ‘have a heart for God.’ It keeps the perspective for me why I play the game and where my strength comes from. I started to do it just to her and then it became a thing after I made it. After each play, after I made a shot. It’s been a good kind of grounding.
“I’ll have a celebration or what-not for a clutch-time play, but at the end of it you’re going to see that sign, because it does keep my perspective; as Anderson Varejao would say, keeps me humble.”
Both Curry and his wife Ayesha have matching wrist tattoos of their favorite Bible passage written in Hebrew. It is an excerpt of 1 Corinthians 13:8 that translates to “love never fails.”
But why Hebrew? Why not Greek, given that this passage is part of the New Testament, which was originally written in Greek?
One could point to the obvious fact that Christ Himself was Jewish. But another possibility that one source points to is in Curry’s mom Sonya, who co-founded a Christian Montessori school in North Carolina with her husband Dell, also a former NBA player. And according to a source cited by The Jerusalem Post, Sonya has been studying Hebrew for several years.
1 Corinthians 13:8
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Written on Curry’s shoes is a verse from Philippians 4:13 which says “I can do all things.” The quote is referring to Jesus Christ as originally written by the Apostle Paul to the church at Philippi—one of the earliest churches to be founded in Europe.
According to one source, Curry says the verse is also his mantra; how he gets up for games and plays the way he does.
Under Armour sells various sneakers and apparel which also sport the 4:13 verse. It’s a great way to get the word out about God and get people curious as to what it means.
As he told Decision Magazine back in 2014,“Obviously, there’s a lot of hoopla and fanfare that follows you wherever you go, but I know where my talent comes from. I know why I play the game, and it’s not to score 30 points a night, but it’s to use the stage I’m on. I’ve been put here for a specific purpose: to be a witness and to share my testimony as I go through it.”
God bless guys like Stephen Curry, who use the gifts they are given as a platform for good, and to help shape the world we live in today.