DAVIDSON, N.C. — Sonya Curry told her son, Steph, during his one-man graduation ceremony at Davidson College Wednesday: "This is not an honorary degree. You earned this."
Thirteen years after leaving Davidson College early for the NBA, Curry returned to receive his diploma.
The college hosted Curry and 5,000 friends, family, fans and students inside John M. Belk Arena for a three-part ceremony titled: Curry for 3.
The best three-point shooter in NBA history was inducted into the school's athletics hall of fame and had his No. 30 jersey retired.
But it was all predicated on Curry completing his degree in sociology, something he promised his mother he would do upon leaving school.
It was a process that saw its starts and stops as the demands of Curry's skyrocketing career and celebrity took hold.
"I slowly chiseled away at it," Curry said. "Then I kind of hit a roadblock in terms of time and availability and focus on prioritizing the work."
But this spring, in the middle of yet another title run, Curry honed in on his homework.
"The craziest thing is when I got hurt against Boston (in March)," Curry said. "That's when I did most of the work."
Curry used about four weeks off the court to power through, working with Davidson professors like Dr. Gayle Kaufman.
Even during a postseason where he averaged 27.4 points per game and was named NBA Finals MVP.
"After a playoff game, he emailed and was like, 'Oh yeah Dr. Kaufman I'm going to get in my last project by Friday night,'" Kaufman said. "He always kept to deadlines and sure enough he finished. It was really a great accomplishment."
That led to Wednesday, when Curry entered the arena as a graduate, soaking it all in.
"My mom kind of said it best," Curry said. "It's a moment to reflect and be proud of what you've accomplished."