Brandyn Curry Makes a Name at Harvard

Charlotte’s Brandyn Curry—no relation to Dell, Stephen, and Seth—is leading Harvard to its best basketball season ever
Gil Talbot

In fall 2005, during tryouts, former Hopewell High basketball head coach Eric Davis remembers one of his assistants telling him to look at “the short, little chubby left-handed kid” because he’s “pretty good.”

That kid was Brandyn Curry, and he ended up making the varsity squad his sophomore season. He was all state as a junior and senior, and as a senior he also led Hopewell to an undefeated regular season.

As he earned a reputation on the court, the surname confusion began. After seeing the name on the back of his jersey, people decided he was another member of Charlotte’s most renowned basketball family. “People just assumed I was Stephen Curry’s brother,” Brandyn laughs, referring to the current NBA player, former Davidson star, and son of local hoops legend Dell Curry (Stephen’s brother, Seth, plays for Duke).

Curry graduated from Hopewell with a 4.65 GPA. By the time he began his senior year, he had narrowed his college choices to William & Mary, VCU, Wright State, Penn, Stanford, and Harvard. When Curry mentioned the last one to his mom, she responded, “Do they even have a basketball team?” Curry, too, admits he initially laughed off the Crimson’s interest, assuming they must be a “team of nerds.”

But his mother realized the long-term possibilities, pointing out that a Harvard degree could lead to success in many environments. Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker, a former Duke star, visited the Curry family. He told them he wanted Harvard to lead the Ivy League and be nationally ranked.

“We talked about his being a trailblazer,” Amaker says.

Curry committed to Harvard. He was nervous about the academic rigor (“you’re in class with all these people who could literally be the next president,” he says), but the junior sociology major has adjusted on and off the court. By his sophomore season, Curry was the starting point guard. The Crimson finished 23-7 and tied Princeton for the first conference regular-season title since the league’s creation in 1956. Curry led the conference in assists.

This season, Harvard was ranked among the top twenty-five teams in the nation through January—another first. “It’s something that we saw this program could become when we first got here,” Curry says.

His dream is to play in the NBA—and then to own an NBA team. One thing is certain: Curry has made a name for himself.

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