I am an avid sports fan. I know sports aren’t inherently nerdy, but I’m definitely a nerd for a lot of different sports.
I was born in Chicago so I love the Cubs and the Bears. Even though the Cubs have broken my heart more times than I can remember, I keep coming back to them every year. The past five seasons with the Cubs have been really rough, but things actually appear to be turning around this year.
I’m also a fan of the Golden State Warriors. I didn’t grow up liking any particular NBA team, though if I had followed suit and picked the Bulls, then the 90s would have been awesome for me. But four years ago I picked the Golden State Warriors as my team because I liked their logo. The first year they weren’t very good, but the past three seasons have been great, with this year being the best.
The Warriors were the best team in the NBA this season and are up 1-0 in the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors are led by their All-Star point guard Stephen Curry, who also happened to be the league’s MVP this year. Curry is an amazing basketball player who could potentially go down as the greatest shooter in NBA history. His three-point shot is a thing of beauty and I get excited every time he shoots the ball.
He also appears to be a very devoted follower of Christ.
I follow Curry and his wife Ayesha, on Instagram and Twitter. They often share posts about their faith, including Bible verses or pictures of them at Hillsong United concerts. And in his MVP speech, Curry constantly made reference to his faith as the most about factor in his life, followed closely by his family.
Which made the presence of Riley Curry, Steph’s two-year-old daughter, at a postgame press conference tremendously endearing.
On Tuesday night, after defeating the Houston Rockets in the first game of their best-of-seven series, Curry brought Riley with him to his press conference. Curry may be the MVP of the league, but Riley was the MVP of that press conference. She told her daddy that he was talking to loudly, yawned while Steph was answering questions and crawled underneath the table and lifted up the tablecloth to peer at the gathered reporters.
It was a precious scene that showed Curry wasn’t just giving lip service to the importance of his family. On the biggest stage of his career, attempting to lead the Warriors to their first NBA championship in 30 years, Curry shared that stage with his daughter. He let her sit on his lap and divided his attention between the reporters and his daughter. I know I’m biased as a Warriors fan, but it warmed my heart to see a professional athlete completely present with his daughter as another father might be on “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.”
Daughters need fathers. I have worked with students for over 15 years and I can tell the difference between the girls who have loving, engaged fathers and those who don’t. I’ve had plenty of female students who grew up without strong father figures mature into intelligent, well-adjusted and successful women. But that process can be easier if they have a strong, caring, loving and engaged father at home.
At this point, based upon what I’ve seen of Steph Curry’s life, Riley has that kind of father. He may be one of the most popular athletes on the planet and there may have been a room full of reporters waiting to hear him speak, but in that moment Steph was more focused on being Riley’s dad than the Warriors’ superstar.
I don’t know if God is going to bless me with a daughter. If he does I hope that I can give her the attention she deserves, even when they are so many other distractions. Steph Curry modeled that behavior last night and, while I can’t drain threes like he can, I hope I can be a father like he is.
What fatherly examples encourage you?