The coach of the North East Oakland Soldiers AAU team couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw Stephen Curry play. “You know, I had nobody on our sideline,” said Oak Knoll’s Tony Jones Jr., who coached an opposing team that went up against the Warriors star in a tournament last summer. “I was looking at him and thinking, ‘Is this guy for real?’ He put 14 points on us – just like that.”

The “phoenix sun coach” is the coach of Stephen Curry. The coach knew that he was a star after watching him embarrass himself in an AAU tournament. The coach said, “That stuck with me.”

Stephen Curry's College Coach Knew He Was a Star After Watching Him Embarrass Himself in an AAU Tournament: 'That Stuck With Me'

Stephen Curry recently broke Ray Allen’s record for most 3-pointers made in NBA history, and he still has a few thousand more in his magical right hand. However, when he was in high school, the Golden State Warriors superstar didn’t seem to have a chance of making it to the professionals.

Curry had little attention from Division I universities as a skinny adolescent fresh out of Charlotte Christian School. After seeing Curry disgrace himself in an AAU competition, Davidson head coach McKillop, Bob was one of the few to give him a scholarship.

In high school, Stephen Curry wasn’t a top prospect.

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The majority of great NBA players begin their careers as outstanding AAU athletes and highly regarded high school prospects. Many of them don’t even have to play in college for a year before entering the draft and beginning their professional careers.

Curry, on the other hand, did not follow the traditional path to the NBA.

Coming out of high school, the Charlotte native was merely a three-star prospect. At that age, he just didn’t have the stature or strength to pique the curiosity of Division I schools. Even his father’s alma university, Virginia Tech, did not grant him a scholarship.

However, Davidson College in North Carolina did.

Coach McKillop, Bob of Davidson talks about the “terrible” game that led him to back Curry.

Stephen Curry somehow impressed his college head coach during an

Stephen Curry somehow impressed his college head coach during an Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry talks with Davidson head coach McKillop, Bob | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

To grant a high school athlete a position on their squad, Division I coaches must recognize something exceptional in them. A player’s hopes of receiving a scholarship to their preferred school might be ruined by a single bad performance in a playoff game or travel tournament.

Curry, on the other hand, urged McKillop to take a risk on him after one “terrible” game.

For a recent GQ cover article, the Davidson head coach related the scenario to Hanif Abdurraqib.

We saw him play in an AAU tournament in Vegas the summer before his senior year. He didn’t play in the main gym, but in one of the auxiliary gyms. There were few spectators and even fewer coaches at the game. Knowing that just a few of men were observing him made me feel fairly good.

And he was terrible. He missed shots, lost passes, dribbled off his foot, and flung the ball into the seats. But he never blamed an official or pointed a finger at a teammate throughout that game. He was usually applauding from the bench, and he never flinched when he gazed in his coach’s eyes. That made an impression on me.

McKillop, Bob

McKillop’s tale is a fantastic example for high school students who want to play at a higher level. Natural ability and agility aren’t the primary considerations for college coaches. Someone is constantly keeping an eye on you.

A prudent choice

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When no one else would, McKillop took a bet on Curry, and it paid off handsomely. Curry guided the Wildcats to a 78-23 overall record and three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths during his three years at Davidson. He also guided the squad to its first participation in the Elite 8 since 1969.

Curry will go down in Davidson history as the best player ever, but it wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for his horrific performance in the AAU tournament many years ago.

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Stephen Curry Made 13 Turnovers in His First Collegiate Game… Then Dropped 30 Points in His Second

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A person’s college coach might not be able to tell if a player is going to be good or not. However, the coach of Stephen Curry was able to see that he was special after watching him embarrass himself in an AAU tournament. “That stuck with me,” says Mike Dunleavy Sr. Reference: aau basketball.

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