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'It’s a win-win:' Steph Curry’s Toronto grade school coach on NBA finals
Down by six points with a minute to play, the Queensway Saints were on the brink of losing their only game of the 2002 season.
James Lackey, coach of the Etobicoke school team, told his players — which included Stephen Curry and his little brother Seth — to keep their heads up, shake hands and be good sports.
"Stephen stopped me and said, 'We're not losing this game,’" Lackey said. "He said, ‘Just give me the ball and we are going to win.’ I said, ‘Okay guys, no more plays, if you get the ball give it to Stephen.’"
Curry scored 12 points in a minute. The Saints won the game by six.
"I had never seen someone so talented before," Lackey says of Curry.
"He had the work ethic. Everyone else would go home after practice and Stephen would stay and shoot and shoot and shoot until someone would say okay we are closing up the gym it's time to go."
Curry attended the now-shuttered Queensway Christian College for two years while his father, Dell Curry, played for the Toronto Raptors.
Seventeen years later, Curry still keeps in touch with his former coach.
"He really makes an effort to keep those relationships going and going strong," Lackey said.
Curry may have roots in Toronto, but he is currently public enemy number one for Raptors fans. Arguably one of the best players to ever play the game, Curry is hoping to lead his Golden State Warriors to their third straight NBA title, while the Raptors look to win the franchise's first.
While Lackey admits he cheers for the Raptors, he said he’s a Curry fan first.
"If the Raptors win, I'm ecstatic because that's my hometown team, and if the Warriors win, I'm really happy for Stephen," Lackey said.
"It's a win-win."