Basketball great Steph Curry on Monday pledged to fund a new golf program at Howard University, with a gift to be made over six years to give the HBCU time to build a Division I sports program.
While Curry is well-known for his prowess on the basketball court, he is also an avid golfer who has played since childhood and played competitively while in college at Davidson, CBS Sports notes.
“Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful,” Curry said in a press release. “I feel really honored to play a small role in the rich history of Howard University.”
Curry’s gift, described only as being in the “seven-figure” range, is one of the largest made to Howard in its 152-year history, the Washington Post reports.
“We haven’t had people do that for athletics,” Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick said Monday. “It’s significant.”
And it all came about as a result of an encounter Curry had earlier this year with a Howard student during a screening of the Curry-produced documentary Emanuel, about the 2015 massacre of nine parishioners at Charleston, S.C.’s Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
After the screening, student Otis Ferguson hit up Curry about getting in a golf game. While that didn’t happen, the two did discuss their mutual love of the sport, and when Ferguson shared that Howard didn’t have a golf program, an idea was born.
“To hear somebody as passionate about the game as I was, all the while still pursuing their education at Howard…impacted me,” Curry told the Post.
Howard, which hasn’t offered golf since the 1970s, according to the Post, is looking to start a men’s and women’s golf program in time for the 2020-2021 school year.