Stephen Curry saw the white flag wave. It danced before him in a taunt as he went bullied and beaten, made to second-guess himself as he never had before. The wispy guard was put through the wringer in one-on-one workouts against bigger, stronger, more experienced players lined up one after another by Davidson coach Bob McKillop. This was Curry’s first day and McKillop intended to test the freshman’s mettle.
“I was tired and kind of frustrated and he came out and waved this white towel in my face,” Curry said. “He kept saying, over and over again: ‘You wanna surrender, don’t you? You wanna surrender? Go ahead, surrender.’”
Curry played on but never triumphed. Instead, he endured just as McKillop hoped he might—standing up, again and again, to be humbled.
“It was pretty embarrassing what they were doing to me out on the floor,” Curry said. “I was pretty confident going into school that I was ready and that all I needed was the ball and to let me play. I went through the workouts and those juniors werekilling me. I finished, somehow, and that was a moment of realization.”
Curry surrendered to the process.