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Family ties bring Dell Curry to Ferrum's golf tournament in Troutville

Family ties bring Dell Curry to Ferrum's golf tournament in Troutville

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TROUTVILLE — Last weekend, Dell Curry played in a nationally televised celebrity golf tournament in Nevada.

On Saturday, the former Virginia Tech and NBA standout played in the Hank Norton Memorial Golf Tournament at the Botetourt Golf & Swim Club.

“You’re coming from Lake Tahoe to Troutville, Virginia, that’s a stark contrast,” Ferrum football coach Cleive Adams cracked Saturday.

Adams is Curry’s brother-in-law. He asked Curry to play in the tournament, which is an annual fundraiser for the Ferrum football program.

Did Curry owe Adams a favor?

“No, man, it’s family,” Curry, 56, said Saturday in an interview before the tournament. “Golf is one of the safest things you can do now, … so I’ve been playing a lot of golf the last few months.”

Curry is married to Adams’ older sister, former Radford High School and Virginia Tech volleyball player Sonya Adams Curry. Dell, who graduated from Fort Defiance High School, was a Tech junior and Sonya a Tech freshman when he first asked her out.

Cleive Adams was a Radford High School student when Sonya first brought Dell to meet the family.

“He was a quiet fellow,” Adams said. “The first few times that we actually had a chance to meet, we used to have family cookouts at my aunt’s house in Radford, and Sonya would bring some of the friends from Tech over.

“He seemed to be a good guy. [But] I had a pretty good crew of mine that I ran with — Dana Palmer and Chester Black, all those old Bobcats — so I had some backing if I needed it.”

Whenever Adams ran into Curry in Blacksburg, he would inform his sister.

“I was the big man on campus. Whenever he saw me mingling around, he’d run back and let her know and be a protective brother,” said Curry, whose name and retired number hang from the Cassell Coliseum rafters. “I immediately grew respect for him for that.

“Him and his buddies would come over to the Tech campus and they’d see me and my buddies hanging around a little bit, talking to students. He’d report back to his sister.”

Saturday’s silent auction not only featured items autographed by Dell Curry but also items autographed by the oldest son of Dell and Sonya — Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.

Dell and Sonya are also the parents of Dallas Mavericks guard Seth Curry and former Elon volleyball player Sydel Curry-Lee.

“All my kids adore [Adams],” Dell Curry said. “He was always involved.”

Curry is a TV analyst for the Charlotte Hornets, but that role came to a sudden halt in March when the NBA season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was the first time since 1986 when I entered the league that I’ve had time off in March to play golf, to fish,” Curry said.

Curry suffered COVID-19 symptoms in late March, after the season was suspended.

“I had the virus. … It hit me for two weeks,” Curry said. “It took me 12 days to get my [COVID-19] test back, and they said I had walking pneumonia. I did not believe that. So I had an antibody test about a month ago and it showed that I was exposed, so I think I had it.”

“It was the worst two weeks of my life, trying to get over that. … I don’t think I was tested right [in March]. … The only thing I didn’t have was a real heavy breathing issue. … But I had all the other symptoms — severe fatigue, no taste, no smell, headache, fever, chills.

“I [later] had the antibodies, so I’m pretty sure I had it.”

Curry wore a Ferrum golf shirt Saturday, when he played in one of the 29 foursomes at the tournament.

He had already played with Adams at the course Friday.

“I know where not to hit it now,” Curry said.

“He’s pretty good,” Adams said.

Curry used to attend some Ferrum football games when Adams was a Panthers assistant coach. He also attended a few games at Averett, where Adams previously served as head coach.

Adams was hired as Ferrum’s head coach in late March. He played for Ferrum in the late 1980s before dropping out, but he returned to the college in 1999 and graduated in 2002.

“I’m proud of him, of what he’s been able to do — going back to finish his degree and then pursuing his coaching career,” Curry said. “[With] cookouts and family gatherings over the years, [we] got real close, talking sports.”

Curry played last weekend in the American Century Championship, a three-round celebrity tournament in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He tied for seventh out of 70 players, with Stephen Curry finishing fourth.

“It’s always a treat,” Dell Curry said of that tournament. “My goal coming in was to finish in the top 10; I was able to do that. Fortunately, I played a ton of golf before getting there, so I’m playing the best golf I’ve ever played at 56.”

While playing in a threesome with his father and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the first round on July 10, Stephen Curry wore golf shoes with the name and image of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by Louisville police in March. Stephen Curry’s shoes also had “Say Her Name” and “Black Lives Matter” on them.

He also wore shoes honoring Black golfing pioneers during the tournament, as well as shoes encouraging people to vote. He provided his father with those three pairs of shoes to wear as well.

“Steph’s got a platform. People listen to him,” Curry said. “We were able to display that on some of our attire last week at the American Century.

“We’re trying to make sure that people are able to vote and they don’t get discriminated against [when] voting. Get out and register.”

Like the Hornets, Stephen’s Warriors are not resuming the season in the NBA “bubble” in Orlando, Florida.

But Seth’s Mavericks will be resuming the season, so Seth is in the bubble.

“He’s been able to fish, he’s been able to golf,” Curry said of Seth. “He hasn’t complained. Seth is like me; we’re real low-key guys. We would fit in the bubble just fine, especially if you can golf, fish and [play] basketball. It’s living the good life. Of course, he misses his wife and his child.”

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