The Denver Nuggets aren't in the NBA Playoffs this year, but you've gotta root for someone, right? Don't be surprised to hear students at Denver North High School are pulling for Golden State.
On February 12, 2017, five Vikings were asked to come to the high school gym. The details were vague.
“They just told us show up in your uniform, and we’re going to take some pictures of you in your uniform for this magazine," Denver North sophomore Isabella Archulta said.
Little did the group know, they were about to get the biggest surprise of their lives. As they were standing in the center court of their home gym, two-time league MVP and Golden State super star Stephen Curry walked in.
"It was crazy, it was like, unbelievable," sophomore Kendel Anderson said. "I don't think any one of us expected that."
"It felt like a dream. I was kind of wondering if I was ever going to wake up," North junior Zach Gonzales added. "It felt so real, and then finally when he walked up and we touched hands, I knew it was real."
It turns out, Curry was squeezing in a photo shoot with GQ Magazine while in town to face the Denver Nuggets. The magazine scouted out several area high schools, and ultimately North won them over.
Curry challenged the five-some to a friendly game of 'Horse,' but a slightly longer variation. Instead, they would be shooting to spell 'Sesquipedalian,' which means polysyllabic or long. The Vikings quickly learned, the stuff you see from Curry on TV is even more impressive in person.
"[Curry] was making every shot, he didn't miss. He had a long half court [shot], a sitting down [shot], and off the bleachers," sophomore Santana Angel said. "It wasn't real at all to me. I couldn't even shoot the ball right, it was crazy."
While the high school team was able to keep the game close for awhile, Curry eventually pulled away for the win. He only missed one shot the entire evening.
"I was the only one who got a letter for him, so it was pretty cool," Archulta said. "I made him miss, but he's really talented."
Despite the final score, it was evident the end goal for the sophomores and junior went higher than the basket.
"North is seen as a not-so-talented basketball school, and for him to come here, it kind of put North on the map for other people to look at," Gonzales said.
"He was in high school and people said he wouldn't make it. I have people tell me on days, like, 'Oh, you won't make it here,'" sophomore Raven Gadison said. "Looking up to [Curry], I know I can become a big person like him. I know I can push myself to be a good basketball player and to be more in life."
“You see him on TV, you’re like, I want to meet that guy one day. And then you get to actually shake his hand, he signs your ball and you talk to him in person, he says your name, that’s crazy, that’s amazing," Anderson said. “Even though he would make all the shots he took, to know that you get to shoot on the same court as Stephen Curry, that’s just crazy.”