By Dante Miller
CHARLOTTE – All parents want their children to be successful, but it’s rare to have two children play in the NBA. This is what happened to Sonya Curry, mother of NBA stars Stephen Curry and Seth Curry.
She spoke to Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown during CIAA Fan Fest about her life’s journey, how she met her husband, her love for sports and education, and how she raised three successful children.
“I was raised in a single parent household,” Curry said. “And my mother was an example of women, strong women, in my life raising their families. Women like my aunts and my grandmother.”
Curry said her grandmother would often sit the family down and reckon with any issues the family had to deal with, even matters that were within themselves.
“I emulated that from her,” she said. “I always look at any issues I have with myself before I look at anyone else.”
Throughout the Fan Fest interview, Curry mentioned two details repeatedly, her passion for education and her strong faith in Christianity. Her love and her passion combined in 1995, when she founded the Christian Montessori School of Lake Norman.
“I always knew I wanted to be an educator,” she said. “The passion of educating began when I was about 13 when I got the opportunity to teach a mentally handicapped 19-year-old young man how to read. So we would sit on my front steps during the week, and I would teach him his letters. And that feeling that I had to know that, one, I had the patience, and two, his life is so much better now that he can read.”
All of her children are athletes. Her family went to church twice a week and had to juggle schooling. Because of their schedules, the family had weekly mandatory family meetings to see what everyone was doing. Curry believes this caused her children to have excellent time management skills that transitioned into adulthood.
Curry said one of the reasons her family had such order was because she was a young mother who had the right amount of energy. However, Curry said the most significant factor was her faith in God. These factors provided the structure she needed to keep her family in order, while her husband, NBA player Dell Curry, was on the road.
“We all have challenges,” she said. “You [Garmon-Brown] are saying we’re amazing people and such an amazing family, but it’s the spirit of God in us. The joy I have comes from the Lord.”
Looking back, Curry wonders if she did the absolute best raising Seth, Stephen and Sydel.
“I feel like spent too much time running around with them, raising them, taking them to do this and that and not enough time just sitting with them without having anything going on,” she said.
However, she admits that each of her children is kind, humble and family-oriented.
Despite being successful NBA players, Curry said she didn’t want her sons to play basketball professionally.
“We would watch other players’ children come in with big diamond watches on – they’re 10 and 12 and coaches would say to them, ‘You’re going to play in the NBA,’” Curry said. “If anyone ever said that to my children when I was around, I would lit into them. I would say, ‘Nope, you don’t know that. You’re not God. You don’t know what they’re going to do.’”
But the moment both her sons decided they were going into the NBA, they had her full support.
She does, however, pray that none of her children will participate in the VH1 TV show, “Basketball Wives,” because none of the people who do so come out unscathed.
“The closest we’ll ever come to that is that Ayesha, Seth’s fiance Callie and myself will be on ‘Red Table Talk’ with Jada and Willow,” she said.