Stephen Curry launches basketball camp for ‘underrated’ high school players
Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry still feels the sting of those who doubted him during his youth and collegiate playing days. And it’s with that pain in mind that Curry wants to create an avenue for overlooked basketball players to showcase their skills to recruiters and scouts nationwide.
Today, Curry announced on The Players’ Tribune that later this year he would launch the Underrated Tour, in partnership with Rakuten. The seven-city tour organizes basketball camps for players rated as three-star prospects or less, giving them a chance to showcase their skills and prove their ratings false.Here’s what the three-time NBA champion wrote:
You’ve got all of these camps out there, right? All these basketball camps, across the country, around the world. And it’s great, man. It’s special. Those camps are how a lot of NBA guys originally made names for themselves. And we should keep that going! But there’s another thing about these camps I’ve been thinking about. And it’s how, if you take a closer look, you’ll see that it’s the same, exclusive group of kids participating in them, over and over. It’s these same four or five-star recruits, players every scout already knows, going from city to city, camp to camp.
And I guess I just got to thinking about how, you know — taking nothing away from those kids, those blue-chip prospects. But what about all the other kids? What about the kids who, for one reason or another, because of one perceived shortcoming or another, are getting labeled as two or three-star recruits? Now I’m not saying those kids need to be at every camp. (Honestly, man, no one does.) But if we have it set up so those kids can’t get invites to any camp?? Then I think we’ve got a problem. Because then I think we’re putting kids — kids who love to hoop, and who should be out there exploring that love — in a situation where a bunch of limits are being placed on them by other people. A situation where the limits of what they can accomplish are being put in place before they’ve gotten to test those limits for themselves.
And so that’s the idea behind The Underrated Tour: to create a basketball camp, in partnership with Rakuten, for any unsigned high school players rated three stars and below. A camp for kids who love to hoop, and are looking for the chance to show scouts that their perceived weaknesses might actually be their secret strengths.
In the article, Curry shares his personal experiences facing criticism as a young athlete. He also recalls the advice his mother gave him: Write your own story.
“My Mom took the lead. She said, Steph, I’m only going to tell you this one time. After that, this basketball dream….. it’s going to be what it’s going to be. But here’s what I’ll say: NO ONE gets to write your story but you. Not some scouts. Not some tournament. (And) not these other kids, who might do this better or that better. And not EVER your last name. None of those people, and none of those things, gets to be the author of your story. Just you. So think real hard about it. Take your time. And then you go and write what you want to write. But just know that this story — it’s yours.
Here’s the schedule for the Underrated Tour:
- Jan. 19-20: Los Angeles
- Jan. 26-27: Washington D.C.
- Feb. 9-10: Phoenix (girls camp)
- Feb. 23-24: Charlotte
- March 2-3: Philadelphia
- March 16-17: Oklahoma City
- March 22-23: Oakland