Thanks to NBA superstar and avid golfer Stephen Curry, Howard University is adding Division I golf teams for the first time in its history.
Howard, a historically black university, made the announcement Monday that a seven-figure donation from Curry has enabled the university to form both men’s and women’s teams that will compete at the top level of collegiate golf.
— Meagan Fitzgerald (@MeaganNBCDC) August 19, 2019
“Golf is a sport that has changed my life in ways that are less tangible, but just as impactful,” Curry said in a release. “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.”
According to the Washington Post, Howard had Division II golf teams for decades before dissolving the programs in the 1970s. Now, after conversations with a student at Howard, Otis Ferguson, who said he gave up golf to attend the school, Curry has funded the rebirth of golf at Howard.
“No matter where you come from or what socioeconomic background you had, we all were that kid once upon a time that was just excited about finding out who they were as a person through athletics,” Curry said. “I was blessed at a young age that we could afford to play. I just think about how many kids, especially from underserved communities, have the talent to play but just don’t have the funds or the resources.”
Now Howard will have those funds from Curry, which will be paid out over the next six years until the program becomes self-sustainable.
“It’s a big opportunity for us to expose students to a game that oftentimes is played as business deals are decided and a game that generations of families can play together,” Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick said.
The Post noted it will take the school a year to hire a coach, recruit players and figure out the course and tournament logistics. The program has targeted the 2020-21 academic year to begin the competition.