I was an ultimately fanboy last Saturday, September 5 as I was able to cover both the prescon and the fan event for UA Roadshow Manila featuring Stephen Curry. Stephen Curry has risen to super stardom this year with an NBA MVP and Championship to boot. He personifies passion, hard work and excellence on the court and he’s an even bigger role model of the court with his faith and his family. Under Armour has been a brand I’ve grown to love due to its style, performance feature and technology. #UARoadshowManila was a huge success as Manila got to see the humility and greatness of Stephen Curry and the latter also got to experience the love and the warmth of the Filipinos.
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There’s so much similarities between Under Armour and Stephen Curry. They are both underdogs that made it big and is even getting bigger. Under Armour was founded in 1996 by former University of Maryland football player Kevin Plank with a mission to make athletes better. From a thousand dollar business, it’s now a billion dollar entity and credit that to the state-of-the-art technology in their products that’s designed for performance and of course, it’s founder and CEO Kevin Plank. We got to hear the snippet of the Under Armour Story as Kevin Plank addressed the whole SM Mall of Asia Arena during the UA Roadshow Manila. That’s among the inspiring part of the days activities. Through Plank’s vision and leadership, Under Armour has become the hottest global athletic performance brand over the last few years. Similarly, Curry’s excellent court vision, playmaking, and shooting led the way for the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA Championship for the first time since 1975.
Stephen Curry has also risen from the ranks to become NBA’s newest superstar. He is the current NBA MVP and led the Golden State Warriors to its first NBA championship since 1975. His passion, hard work and perseverance to improve his game has led him to his current status. What stands out with Stephen Curry was his humility as a player and as a person. We got to see that up close in the press con. He was asked to ranked the NBA guards including himself and instead of ranking them gave the strong points of several guards in the NBA and he acknowledge the competitiveness of the guards in the league. He has also acknowledged the legends of the game when asked by Cesca Litton on which legend would he pass the ball to when the game is on the line, Reggie Miller or Ray Allen. Reggie Miller is his idol while Ray Allen is the leading 3 point shooter of all time so either way, he can’t go wrong.
He is also aware of areas of the game he should work on, which is his turnover. He has in fact a turnover bet with his mom and with an average of 3.1 turnovers per game, he’s losing on that bet. He also acknowledged that all teams will be gunning for them and they need to be better to be able to remain on top. On the lighter note during the press con, W got to know that Stephen Curry left teen king, Daniel Padilla with his presence but he also voiced his admiration to the Teen King. Of course, there’s also the clamor with the media and the fans for her family and most especially her daughter Riley, who’s also grown into a celebrity at the same time. With the warm response he got in Manila, he promised to bring his family along the next time. After winning an Olympic Gold, an MBA MVP, what’s next for Stephen Curry? Of course, he’d love to do it all over again and his ultimate goal is to be in the hall of fame.
The press event went at a dizzying pace as Stephen Curry had several one on one interviews then had to meet several groups too. What stood out was how warm and how comfortable Steph was with the process. He was game with the questions and he really had natural chemistry with the crowd. After the press con, we were all headed to the fan event in SM Mall of Asia Arena.
If he was a delight in the press con, Stephen Curry was even better when he was on the court with the fans filling up SM Mall of Asia Arena. He is really a natural crowd pleaser as he even did the Nae Nae as part of his entrance. Guess what? He learned it from her 3-year old daughter, Riley. He just connects with the crowd of all ages and including kids. In fact, among his first acts was playing basketball with a 7 year old kid, Dominic Tuason. Dominic Tuason also had game as he was able to do some dribbling exhibition using two balls. Stephen Curry played with Dominic and that’s Stephen Curry for you. He can be competitive when the game is on the line but he can also be cool when playing with kids to inspire them.
Up next, he gave some skills workout to a select group of 30 high school athletes. He gave them some dribbling and shooting drills. They even got the chance to wear the Curry Two, which is Stephen Curry’s second signature shoes. He was also so spontaneous with the crowd that you’d be surprised that he’d suddenly go on one section of the crowd taking selfies. I for one wanted to have a selfie but with the busy press event, I wasn’t able to have one so I did the next best thing. It was a good thing that I was in the Patron area so I was so near the court that I had a photo with Steph in the background. Well, that’s close enough.
While there was a program for the event, Steph kept finding ways to please the fans as after the drills, he went on to do and win a 3 point shooting contest among the top shooters of the group. He played a 15 minute scrimmage with the kid’s and it was exciting to watch since his team fell behind by 10 points at the start. At first, I thought he was already tired from the flight, the press event and the activities for the day but he still had some tricks up his sleeves. He showcased some vintage Steph Curry moments from his array of passes, dribbling skills and 3 point shots that came from all corners. In the end, his team won 34-28.
When Stephen noticed some dunkers in the group, he asked them to do some dunks for the crowd. Of course, he also showed his own dunk where he bounced the ball, caught it in the air and went with a reverse jam. That’s finishing and event on a high note. He then distributed the signed game balls to the crowd to some lucky fans wanting to grab a memorabilia from their idol.
He thanked the warm response of the crowd and promised to come back to Manila and the next time, he’ll come with Riley and his family. I guess when it comes to basketball, Philippines has the warmest crowds as the love for basketball is in our blood and can be seen in each street corner with our own brand of street basketball. See you next time Steph!