Eleven words is all it took for a Howard University student to gain the attention of Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry.
"Steph, let's get in a round of golf before you leave," said Otis Ferguson IV.
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Back in January 2019, Ferguson IV was in attendance as Curry was a special guest speaker at the viewing of documentary "Emanuel," a film Curry co-produced with actress Viola Davis.
"We had a quick conversation to bring about his love for golf, and the fact he's only on the club team and he's trying to figure out a way to get the Divison-1 program back," said Curry.
The two kept in contact over e-mail for several months, and later that year in August of 2019, the Howard Golf program was born. Curry spoke at an introductory ceremony and credited Ferguson IV.
"We are here announcing the first Division-1 Golf program for Howard University all because of this guy. So y'all give it up for Otis Ferguson," said Curry for a crowd that gathered in Washington D.C. to celebrate the historic event.
Curry's donation will fund the first six years of competition for both the men's and women's golf teams. Earlier this month, in July 2021, more than $3 million dollars were raised for the program endowment at the Bison at the Beach Inaugural Golf Classic at Pebble Beach.
"At Pebble Beach, like the view from there, it literally felt like a dream. I was joking with one of my teammates, I'm like 'Yo you've got a pinch me because this is crazy,'" said Ferguson IV.
"Talking to him (Curry) at the event, really made think about what kind of person he is and how he looks out for the team," said Howard golfer Everett Whiten Jr. "He wants to be very active with us and I really appreciate everything he is doing for us."
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"To have that role model that's willing not only put money up, but also invest his time, energy and entire family, that's truly the village," said Howard Gold Head Coach Samuel Puryear. "That's the universal inclusive village that we are really opening hoping we can continue as a University and as a team to pay that forward."
Curry joined the golf team on the course, and after completing 18-holes at Pebble Beach it was revealed that over $3 million was raised through event sponsorships, a private auction and participation in the event.
"As much as it may be about who started the movement or how it started, it is equally as important the movement serves its purpose and seeing that's what it's doing and that's what it's done is equally as exciting," said Ferguson IV.
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The Howard University program made its debut during the 2020-21 season through Curry's support and both sides are looking forward to a bright future of opportunities on and off the golf course."
"I think the Howard program in general is going to give them, not just them, but kids coming up through the ranks, a vision of what they can be in terms of playing golf competitively and the doors it can open for them," said Curry.