OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- It's hard to believe now, but Warriors superstar Stephen Curry was once a lightly recruited, 3-star (out of 5-stars) high school basketball player heading into college.
Curry grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina surrounded by some of the top college basketball programs in the country: Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest to name a few.
"It started kind of organically after I joined Under Armour back in 2013. About the third or fourth year in, I realized when I was in high school, I wouldn't have gotten invited to my own camp, because I was a 2-star or 3-star recruit," Curry said. "That's where the idea of Underrated and the Underrated Tour became a real thing."
Curry's idea was put into action. With the support of Under Armour and Rakuten, the basketball tour has become an instant success, growing over the years and giving boys and girls high school basketball players a chance to grow on and off the court.
"We're going to look to bring in more players and how can we involve more players, and so we are currently throwing around some ideas about how to improve the tour to hopefully grow this to get more kids more opportunities," said Curry's trainer Brandon Payne. "Both boys and girls to be found, to no longer be underrated."
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Oakland marked the championship stop for the 2022 Underrated tour with four boys teams and four girls teams from four regions (Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Seattle, Atlanta) competing for the title. Bez Jenkins from suburban Atlanta, provided one of the camp's highlights dunking over Curry.
"It's a pretty good experience, not a lot of kids got picked to come to San Francisco and I'm all the way from Georgia so it's a pretty cool experience," said Jenkins.
Over the years, Curry has used his platform and grant opportunities to deserving kids and families through his various works from his and wife Ayesha's Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, to helping jumpstart the Howard University men's and women's golf teams, along with the Underrated basketball and golf tours.
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"One thing about sports is that it teaches you a lot about yourself. A lot about how to be on a team. Building confidence, building work ethic, perseverance. If they can develop those skill sets in high school, potentially get scholarship offers that could be a door opening to a life in any industry but an opportunity to kind of live that experience out through sports," said Curry.
As Curry and the Warriors look to defend their NBA title and go for a fifth championship this spring and summer, I asked Stephen when he felt he went from being "underrated" to the player he is today.
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"For me obviously all the accomplishments and success, I still carry the underrated mindset and that gene is always built into me," Curry said. "I will always look at things that way, you know but once you win a world championship that kind of changes the conversation. But now I can show the journey of what it took to carry that underrated mindset with me every step of the way."
Learn more about Underrated here.
Learn more about Rakuten here.
Learn more about Under Armour Curry Brand here.