Jun 4, 2015
Teacher to Steph Curry: Don’t come to speak at my school

Off the court, NBA MVP Steph Curry has been an inspirational figure to young athletes. But a California English teacher fears his message might be doing more harm than good.

Photo: Keith Allison, Wikimedia CommonsMatt Amaral posted this blog earlier this week, titled “Dear Steph Curry, Now That You Are MVP Please Don’t Come Visit My High School.” Curry has made a habit of speaking at high schools and other events, but Amaral feels his message isn’t based in reality. Only a fraction of high school athletes will ever go pro, and while Curry’s follow-your-dreams message is in good faith, Amaral believes he should instead encourage students to focus on academics.

Here is an excerpt from Amaral’s post:

Because by the time they are sixteen, boys in this country, if they have even a tiny, tiny chance of going pro, should already be on the radar of colleges and scouts. They should be the best player not just at their school but in their entire city. Probably their entire state. They should already be 6’3″ and growing. You know this and I know this, but the kids who you will inspire with your presence will simply see you and think they too will be MVP one day, even though they don’t even play for our high school team. So instead of doing homework the night after your visit, they will grab their lopsided old ball and go play on the court with their little brother and shoot the ball badly, improbably thinking every time the ball actually does go in it means they are on their way to fame and fortune.

You see Steph, once you leave my school, the boys here are not going to run home and finish that essay, which is one thing they could do about their future that is in their control. Just like if Beyonce came here, the girls wouldn’t head back to their one bedroom apartments filled with two families and begin their science labs. When Beyonce tells them to make sure they pass Algebra, they look at her and ask “What for? Did Algebra help your voice?” Instead they will go home and look in the mirror and wish they were tanner and thicker and a better singer and dancer and they will cry into their mascara. Because that is what celebrity worship does, Steph, and we need these kids to do less of it rather than more. They are already very good at dreaming about being rich and famous, what we need them to do is get a little more realistic about what is in their control. We need less of an emphasis on sports and celebrity in high school, because it is hurting these kids too much as it is.

Agree with Amaral or not, it’s a thought-provoking piece that asks us to consider whether young athletes, or even non-athletes, should be exposed to the harsh reality that there are just some things they cannot do. We often subscribe to the follow-your-dreams cliché, but there’s certainly an argument to be made that it could have negative consequences.

Have thoughts on Amaral’s post? Leave them in the comments section below or send an email to [email protected]

Photo: Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons

Teacher to Steph Curry: Don’t come to speak at my school

Sharing Block: Winning Hoops Sharing Block

By Kevin Hoffman, Managing Editor

Off the court, NBA MVP Steph Curry has been an inspirational figure to young athletes. But a California English teacher fears his message might be doing more harm than good.

Matt Amaral posted this blog earlier this week, titled “Dear Steph Curry, Now That You Are MVP Please Don’t Come Visit My High School.” Curry has made a habit of speaking at high schools and other events, but Amaral feels his message isn’t based in reality. Only a fraction of high school athletes will ever go pro, and while Curry’s follow-your-dreams message is in good faith, Amaral believes he should instead encourage students to focus on academics.

Here is an excerpt from Amaral’s post:

Because by the time they are sixteen, boys in this country, if they have even a tiny, tiny chance of going pro, should already be on the radar of colleges and scouts. They should be the best player not just at their school but in their entire city. Probably their entire state. They should already be 6’3″ and growing. You know this and I know this, but the kids who you will inspire with your presence will simply see you and think they too will be MVP one day, even though they don’t even play for our high school team. So instead of doing homework the night after your visit, they will grab their lopsided old ball and go play on the court with their little brother and shoot the ball badly, improbably thinking every time the ball actually does go in it means they are on their way to fame and fortune.

You see Steph, once you leave my school, the boys here are not going to run home and finish that essay, which is one thing they could do about their future that is in their control. Just like if Beyonce came here, the girls wouldn’t head back to their one bedroom apartments filled with two families and begin their science labs. When Beyonce tells them to make sure they pass Algebra, they look at her and ask “What for? Did Algebra help your voice?” Instead they will go home and look in the mirror and wish they were tanner and thicker and a better singer and dancer and they will cry into their mascara. Because that is what celebrity worship does, Steph, and we need these kids to do less of it rather than more. They are already very good at dreaming about being rich and famous, what we need them to do is get a little more realistic about what is in their control. We need less of an emphasis on sports and celebrity in high school, because it is hurting these kids too much as it is.

Agree with Amaral or not, it’s a thought-provoking piece that asks us to consider whether young athletes, or even non-athletes, should be exposed to the harsh reality that there are just some things they cannot do. We often subscribe to the follow-your-dreams cliché, but there’s certainly an argument to be made that it could have negative consequences.

Have thoughts on Amaral’s post? Leave them in the comments section below or send an email to [email protected]

Photo: Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons






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