A young Stephen Curry during his days at Davidson College is depicted in the Apple TV+ documentary “Stephen Curry: Underrated,” which begins streaming on July 21 (Photo Credit: Tim Cowie).

(‘Stephen Curry: Underrated’ trailer courtesy of Apple TV)

In 2023, it is hard to view Stephen Curry, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) greatest shooter of all time (G.S.O.A.T.) as underrated.

However, the doubters have questioned him from high school until 2022, when he won the NBA Finals MVP for the first time despite several championship rings.

But from Tom Brady getting selected in the sixth round of the National Football League (NFL) draft to Michael Jordan getting cut from the high school varsity basketball team as a 10th grader, the greats have always used the naysayers as motivation even when they have reached the plateau of their career numerous times before.

The documentary “Stephen Curry: Underrated” shows all the dreamers that the road to glory is often not paved with gold.

That road is rocky with detours, unplanned stops and constant traffic jams and traffic stops along the way.

However, if the dreamer can keep that motivational fire burning, they can often muster the strength to accomplish new goals and climb to new heights.

“Stephen Curry: Underrated” begins in the mecca of hoops, New York’s Madison Square Garden, as Curry dethrones Hall of Famer Reggie Miller as the NBA’s all-time leader in three-point shots made.

It then quickly transitions to Curry’s journey as the son of an NBA sharpshooter to a lightly recruited high school shooter to the toast of the NCAA tournament with upstart Davidson College.

To encapsulate how long a journey Curry has been on from unknown wannabe hooper to the best shooter in the league, the documentary goes back and forth from high quality high definition/4K to grainy VHS tape quality and back again.

Some of the youngsters who dream of becoming the next Curry might not even know what in the world a VHS tape is.

That should serve as a reminder to all the dreamers out there as to how long it might take to achieve one’s ultimate goal.

Not only will dreamers always have doubters, but they might also have to deal with the same doubt or question throughout their career, just from different people.

From the get-go, Curry received the label of too small and not strong enough to compete at the next level.

The next level could have been high school varsity basketball.

It could have been division one college basketball.

Or it could have been professional basketball.

As a child, Curry was so diminutive, that he had to shoot the ball from down low to muster enough strength to get it to the rim.

However, his professional basketball playing father Dell Curry let him know that if he wanted to play college basketball, he would have to strengthen himself enough to shoot from a higher release point.

Therefore, the summer before his junior year in high school, the younger Curry had to totally redevelop his shot, which took backbreaking work that would have made less determined individuals quit and go back to their old way of doing things.

That determination right there should have let people know that Curry was different than most.

He did not come from a poor background, with two college educated parents (one who made millions in the heyday of the NBA of the 1990s).

Even if he did not receive a basketball scholarship, Curry probably would have matriculated to his parents’ alma mater Virginia Tech and enjoyed college life like any other student.

However, he did not want to be like every other college student.

He wanted to be the best student-athlete possible.

And despite putting up good numbers in high school, the only scholarship offer he received was to Davidson, despite attending college camps like the one hosted by Duke University and the legendary Coach K.

But as all dreamers can attest, the journey unfolds the way it was intended to unfold.

Attending Davidson College was so apropos to Curry’s journey because in the NCAA tournament the appropriately titled Davidson became like a David to the Goliaths like Georgetown University and Michigan State University.

Curry’s entire career has been like a David, who was too little to even be in the same arena as the Goliaths.

Nevertheless, he continued to slay all giants that dared to doubt him and his basketball wizardry.

The documentary “Stephen Curry: Underrated” is at is best, however, when viewers get to see the real Curry.

The regular student at Davidson.

The regular dad trying to balance work life with home life and even student life, as he works to finish his college degree after leaving college for the Golden State Warriors after his junior year.

Although athletes get hated on by many of the public, probably because of their massive bank accounts and popularity, it is hard to dislike Curry and his family, especially his young children who mistake Curry’s college professor with their medical doctor, because many professors go by the title of Dr.

Furthermore, Curry’s story is more enjoyable because it is more relatable than a story about someone like LeBron James or Shaquille O’Neal because many people cannot relate to being the size of James or O’Neal.

However, many can relate to the normal-sized Curry, who is not the fastest and not the highest jumper.

But he is one of the hardest workers.

And the documentary shows that even when one “makes” it, there will always be the doubters who motivate them to make it even farther than they ever dreamed of going.







Todd A. Smith
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