Nice story by Fox Sports’ Jimmy Spencer who details the relationship between Washington freshman Darin Johnson and NBA star Stephen Curry, who plays for the Golden State Warriors.
They met four years ago when Johnson was a freshman at Franklin High in Sacramento and Curry was a NBA rookie fresh out of Davidson.
“I remember the conversation a good amount and him coming to practice,” Curry told Fox Sports. “The biggest thing I told him is be good at controlling what you can control. There are so many things that can happen in the game of basketball when it comes to injuries, coaches or the bad situations you can possibly get in. The things you can control are your attitude, your effort on the court and your attention to your personal mission.
“You have to be blind to all those things going around you because you can’t control those things. You can’t control how many shots you make on any given night. It’s all about playing hard and not thinking that you’re bigger than the game in any given situation because it won’t get you anywhere.”
There’s a kinship between the two guards. Johnson was a three-star recruit overshadowed by in a 2013 freshman class that includes several prominent former high school stars, including teammate Nigel Williams-Goss. Curry is an unlikely NBA star who received three scholarship offers ((Davidson, VCU and Winthrop) out of high school.
“He told me how hard he works,” Johnson told Fox Sports. “I looked at myself and then at him, and he’s in the position I want to be in. I was like, ‘Man, I really got to pick it up’ because for him to get there wasn’t easy. The little things he was doing turned into big things. I felt to get to his level, I was really going to have to start working.
“That was really a wakeup call for me. It still is for me now, watching him succeed at the level he’s at, knowing he still works that hard.”
WEDNESDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Coach Lorenzo Romar is our special live chat guest 1:30 p.m. today.
— UC Irvine, which plays at Washington on Thursday, lost 84-79 at Pacific on Tuesday night. The Anteaters are 0-2.
— San Diego State coach Bill Fisher announced plans to build a basketball-only practice facility, which might explain why the Aztecs assembled a 2014 recruiting class ranked No. 9 nationally by ESPN. SDSU also beat out UW for touted recruit Zylan Cheatham.
— No. 24 UCLA blew past Oakland 91-60 at Pauley Pavilion. Jordan Adams scored 22 points, center Tony Parker had 21 points and 12 rebounds – both career highs – and Norman Powell finished with 18 points, including a crowd-pleading dunk. The Bruins improved to 2-0.
— Arizona State had no problems rolling over Miami (Ohio) in a 90-54 victory. Jahii Carson led the way with 18 points and a career-high eight assists, Jermaine Marshall had 18 and Jordan Bachynski finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Sun Devils improved to 2-0.
— California got a scare when senior point guard Justin Cobbs left their 77-50 win over Denver with 8:27 remaining. He was taken tot he locker room and returned to the bench game for the end. Coach Mike Montgomery said the Golden Bears (2-0) should have their senior star available for Friday’s game.
— After a season-opening loss, new USC coach Andy Enfield benched several starters including senior guard J.T. Terrell, who had 20 points in the first game. The shakeup in the lineup helped the Trojans (1-1) to a 95-79 win over Cal State Northridge. Omar Oraby had 17 points and Byron Wesley added 16 points and 11 rebounds.
— No. 18 Oregon returns home after a big win against Georgetown in South Korea for tonight’s home opener versus Western Carolina.
— Is it possible to play a must-win game in November? Seems unlikely, but after a shocking defeat in the season opener Oregon State coach Craig Robinson needs a victory tonight when the Beavers (0-1) face Portland (1-0) at Gill Coliseum.
— Who needs wins when you have snazzy gear? Oregon State unveiled its new N7 uniforms.