Before directing fight against coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci was a high school basketball captain

Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry and Dr. Anthony Fauci weren’t such an odd pairing after all. It may have seemed odd — at least initially — when Curry hosted a Q&A with Fauci about the coronavirus, but it turns out the pair have more in common than you might expect.

That’s because Fauci, 79, also knows what it’s like to be a basketball star. Before leading the fight against the coronavirus, Fauci was the captain of the basketball team at Regis High School in New York, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Fauci scored 10.2 points per game, according to the school yearbook, but his teammates say those stats were deceptive. The team would have fallen apart without him.

“The leader doesn’t always score the most points,” [teammate John] Zeman said. “He was the leader.”

“He wasn’t a yeller, and he wasn’t a rah-rah-rah guy, but everybody looked up to him,” said Tom McCorry, a classmate and future college basketball coach. “He worked hard and he was very unselfish — kind of the way he shows now. He really is the same person.”

OK, so maybe “star” is a little generous. Still, it was clear Fauci was the most respected player on the team.

His team, unfortunately, wasn’t great. The Regis High School basketball team was just 1-16 before a certain game detailed by the Wall Street Journal. Fauci and the rest of the team pulled off a mighty upset over Fordham Prep 51. Donnie Walsh — who would go on to run the New York Knicks — played on the Fordham Prep team.

What was Dr. Anthony Fauci like as a basketball player?

If you were hoping to read a scouting report on Fauci, you’re in luck. The Wall Street Journal describes Fauci as a strong ball-handler, pesky defender and tenacious competitor. Basically, Fauci was the original Matthew Dellavedova. One of Fauci’s teammates at Regis said Fauci would “literally dribble through a brick wall.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci is leading the fight against coronavirus

The Wall Street Journal reached out to Fauci for comment on his high school basketball career, but Fauci did not respond. He’s got more important things to deal with these days. Fauci has become one of the leading voices in the fight against the coronavirus. Fauci — an infectious disease expert — has encouraged people to practice social distancing, and has given advice on how Americans can take preventative measures to protect themselves — and others — from coronavirus.

Though it’s been many years since Fauci played at Regis High School, his bond with his teammates is still evident. While Fauci didn’t respond to the Wall Street Journal for comment, he immediately responded when the team manager from Regis reached out to Fauci after seeing him on television.

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