In a historic step to increase access for the game of golf, Stephen Curry, the six-time NBA All-Star and Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation co-founder announced his multi-million dllar commitment to Howard University on Monday, with a promise to support the creation of the university’s first NCAA Division 1 golf program for the next six years. Following the announcement, Steph Curry, Howard student Otis Ferguson IV, Howard University’s President, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, Athletic Director, Kery Davis, and CEO of Callaway, Chip Brewer gathered for a historic tee-off at Langston Golf-Course and Driving range in Washington, DC; the only Black-owned course in the nation's capital.
Curry received inspiration to help the university back in March, when Otis Ferguson IV approached the NBA star during a visit to campus to promote the film, Emanuel, which Curry helped to produce. Curry felt obligated to act on this after Ferguson told Curry the story of him unsuccessfully seeking to establish a team alone for the University. Since Steph loves golf himself, he used his connects, his wealth, and his ability to connect with people to help bring this opportunity to the storied HBCU. With this, Curry will introduce and increase access to golf at an HBCU, which will then bring in sponsors for uniforms and equipment such as Callaway and Under Armour, which the school already has an apparel contract with.
Curry said, “Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful. It’s a discipline that challenges your mental wherewithal from patience to focus, and is impossible to truly master, so when you hear about these passionate student athletes who have the talent but don’t have a fair shot at the game, it’s tough. I feel really honored to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University, and look forward to building their first men’s and women’s golf teams with them.”
Howard University plans to unveil the first men’s and women’s golf teams in the 2020-2021 academic year, using resources for talent scouting and training to have their teams competitively compete in Division 1 arena for their first season. Adding the men's and women's golf teams will bring Howard's Division 1 team total to 21. In the past, the school had a Division 2 golf team and other clubs/intramural club teams on campus.
President Frederick said, “Howard University is honored to partner with NBA Champion Stephen Curry to launch what is sure to become one of the best golf programs in the country. This program will expose the campus to a game with numerous benefits. Golf is unique because it can be played through various ages of life. Grandfathers can play with granddaughters. Expanding the competitive opportunities for student athletes, especially in arenas where they are underrepresented, is consistent with the university’s strategic plan.”