Monday morning, we ran a story about Don Nelson returning to the University of Iowa this spring to walk for the diploma he earned long ago. It was a nice bit of news, but not really about the importance of education. Given Nellie's eccentricity, it might just as well have been about a lifelong dream to open an emu farm.
Nelson is really the outlier at a time when many players have used the lockout as a chance to work towards earning degrees. One of those players is Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who's spending this fall living in his hometown of Charlotte and taking classes at nearby Davidson College. Recently, Curry talked about the experience with "The Story," a public radio program produced by WUNC in Chapel Hill. He touches on subjects ranging from being a star on campus to the details of his thesis on athletes and tattoos. Check out a few highlights after the jump.
* On being an older student: "That first day of classes, I walked in, I had a 12:30 class on a Monday. … I had no idea who anyone else was in the class. Usually my experience was you knew everyone else in the class because they were so small."
* On his basketball success as an advertisement for the school: "A lot of them are on campus and enrolled at Davidson because of what we did on the court and brought attention to our school."
* On his lunchtime routine: "I sit by myself near the TV. Usually I'm in there around lunch time catching up on all the updates to the NBA labor talks."
* On his teammates' opinion of his classes: "A lot of them are joking on me, being the nerd of the group. … I'm not sure anyone else has been in this situation before, so it's hard to find someone to talk about it."
* On how he treats college like the NBA: "It's just like an NBA schedule. … You have these laid out tasks that you've got to get done. It's not just free-floating. Every minute means something."
* On his thesis: "I'm interviewing eight to ten NBA athletes -- high-profile athletes who have a lot of visible tattoos. I'm asking them about how they approach their image -- how they guard it, how they let it free in other situations, the meaning behind their tattoos and how much that comes into play with marketability. … It's been pretty interesting to hear these guys talk about what I took for granted about who they are."
There's much more in the interview, including greater specifics on the thesis (which really does sound worth reading for anyone interested in the intersection of the NBA and culture), what Curry's done for current Davidson basketball players, and his connection to the school itself. Through it all, he comes across as a thoughtful man who isn't just earning a degree. He's getting as much out of his education as he can.