He is the Golden Boy on the Golden Team, coming off the best season in NBA history. Yes, life is pretty good these days for the once again first place Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. In recent years, however, Steph has gained notoriety not just for his accolades on the court, which include two straight MVPs, but he and his family have been thrust into the limelight off the court as well. His wife, Ayesha, with her movie star good looks and YouTube cooking channel turned Best-Selling book and TV show, and daughter Riley, with her break-out turn in a post-game press conference as the cutest four year old in the universe, have propelled the Currys into the public eye. And yes, while many consider them, perhaps, overexposed, many also consider them a model family of shared love, balance of work and home, and devotion to keeping things normal. Either way, despite the glaring spotlight they have opened up their doors to us, and we are more than happy to take a look. With that in mind…
Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Steph Curry’s Marriage
15. Steph and Ayesha Curry knew each other as teenagers (but he didn’t ask her out)
Steph Curry “always had [his] eye” on Ayesha Alexander but “got a little shaken, for sure.” They both admit to being pretty shy as teenagers after meeting when they were 15 and 14 respectively. “It’s funny, our parents used to make jokes about how cute we were together, but we didn’t know,” Stephen says. For her part, Ayesha wasn’t allowed to date in high school, as they were both quite religious. In fact, they met in a youth group at the Central Church of God in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We were just kids,” Ayesha told People Magazine. “He was the cute boy at church that all of the girls were obsessed with, so I made a generalization that maybe he wasn’t for me.”
14. Ayesha dodged Steph’s first kiss
As Ayesha tells it, “he was in mid-conversation and came flying at my face like a thief in the night. So, I was like No.” Steph was a junior at Davidson College in North Carolina coming off an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA tournament and Ayesha was pursuing an acting career. He had come to Los Angeles for the ESPYS and found her on Facebook. They spent a day together on Hollywood Boulevard taking pictures with Marilyn Monroe impersonators and the like, which Ayesha recalls as “friend vibes… until I dodged his first kiss.” The Currys finally did smooch in the driveway of Steph’s parents house in Charlotte, after Ayesha had moved back home.
13. Steph didn’t say “I love you” back
Confusion over the “friend zone” aside, Steph and Ayesha Curry almost didn’t happen. Ayesha Alexander had a “no athletes” dating policy before Steph came along, and didn’t even know what the ESPYs were, nor was she aware of Curry’s growing celebrity. “My parents found this paper from my high school theater class where you had to write down what you wanted in a significant other,” she recalled. “At the bottom, it said, ‘No athletes, because they’re arrogant.’” Steph however, was “so funny and silly, the absolute opposite of what I thought he was going to be.” When Ayesha eventually told Steph she loved him, “he said, ‘I feel like I love you too, but I don’t want to say it unless I’m sure because I just want to be sure that when I say it, I really mean it.’” She got in her car to drive home, crying.
12. The Currys got engaged on the spot of their first kiss
After about two years of dating, Ayesha and Steph stopped by his parents house after going to his sister’s volleyball game. In the rain, and in the same spot they had first locked lips, he got down on his knee “and went into my spiel,” as he puts it. “He asked me if I knew where we were standing. It was the spot where we had our first kiss,” Ayesha says. “He pulled me close and started saying all these sweet things and then dropped down on one knee. I was in a state of shock.” She counts on Steph to remember the rest. “She looked at the ring and asked if it was real. The next thing I knew, people were screaming from inside the house. All of our family was inside waiting, it was awesome!”
11. They were married in the very church in which they met.
Steph, 23, and Ayesha, 22, were married in front of 420 guests in the same church where they met. Their marriage took place in June, 2011. The sight of Ayesha in her taffeta, drop-waist Amsale wedding dress with a long, custom-made veil was overwhelming to more than just Steph. “Our pastor told me to look at him if I started tearing up, but he was already way past my tear level,” he said. “That was the best part of the ceremony, though. I still have that picture of her in my head.” They continued with a reception in a grand ballroom with floating tea candles, a dinner, and the band Cheap Thrills. As would become their custom, they started their life as a married couple giving to others. In lieu of wedding gifts, they requested donations be made to ThanksUSA, an organization that provides scholarships to families in the military.
10. They got pregnant shortly after the wedding, and welcomed their second child to the world last year
“She was a borderline honeymoon baby,” Ayesha said of her daughter Riley. She quickly grew to love being a parent, saying “motherhood is far better than I expected. I love it with all of my heart. It gives me a more positive outlook… I can never have a bad day as a mom.” She is focusing her energy now on being a role model to her daughters, Riley, 4, and Ryan, 1. “What I want to represent for my daughters is that you can always stay true to yourself and still be successful,” she says. “You can have your cake and eat it too and follow your passions, have a family and be happy.” As for the girls themselves, “Riley is completely enamored with her little sister and has taken on her role as big sister beautifully,” Ayesha wrote shortly after welcoming her second child into the world.
9. Riley was the belle of a post-game press conference
Riley Curry stole the show at a press conference last spring when she told her dad to be quiet, waved at reporters, and crawled under the dais. Steph said the moment happened organically, when Riley demanded she wanted to hang out with him before he was headed into the interview room. “My daughter was who she is—vibrant, spunky, and full of life,” Ayesha said. “I hope she carries this with her through adulthood.” As for Steph stepping back and letting his daughter shine, she told Time Magazine, “I thought it was beautiful for him not to push his daddy duties to the bottom of the list just because all eyes were on him. I believe you should let your children be children, and don’t be afraid to be a parent regardless of who’s watching.” Ayesha believes that this single press conference was, well, a game changer. “Kids do that stuff all the time and nobody takes notice. It kind of caught us off guard, and so that changed everything for all of us.”
8. The Currys are very low key at home
“Anyone who knows our family knows we are extremely low maintenance, no fuss, and very relaxed,” says Ayesha. “You walk into our home, and there are toys scattered everywhere. It’s perfectly disorganized, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.” They work hard as a couple to make sure that game days and non-game days alike stay “regimented,” including consistent bed-times and daily activities for the kids. Ayesha describes Steph as the kind of dad who will “get down on the floor and play with the girls. He’ll put on dress-up clothes if he has to, and he’s very patient, which is something I’m not. We balance each other out.” That said, she did note that between trying to wrangle children and make dinner, they often try to do something as simple as watch a movie… “and that never happens,” she told Cosmopolitan.
7. Steph calls home using Facetime, just like us, albeit it to a 7,900 square foot mansion
Like all families, the Currys struggle to get everybody out of the house at one time, albeit in their 7,900 square foot mansion in Walnut Creek, CA. “When we get in the car and we’ve brought everything and everybody has socks on, it’s like a dream come true,” Ayesha says. The Mediterranean style, five-bedroom home includes a 2,300-bottle wine cellar and a brand-new custom playhouse for the kids. But when Steph is on the road, they turn to everyday technology to bring the group together. “FaceTime helps me a lot,” Curry says. “I feel like I’m home even though I’m not. My girls get to see me, and Riley as at the age where she asks where I am and when I’ll be back, counting down how many ‘sleeps’ until Daddy gets home.”
6. Ayesha comes to (nearly) every home game
She estimates she goes to 95% of Warriors games played at Oracle Arena, usually leaving the kids at home (as the nights can run pretty late). Steph has a pre-game ritual where he makes eye contact with Ayesha in the stands, and he does a sign, which she returns. They each tap their matching triceps tattoos of two arrows pointing at each other, which signify that “the past is behind us and the future is in front of us, so we stay in the middle, in the moment,” Ayesha says. Ayesha even gets free drinks now at Oracle, after regularly forgetting her wallet, which she blames on the fact that she Ubers to games. “They probably think I’m assuming … like trying to get free drinks. They give me free drinks now, so it’s all good, but everybody should get free drinks! It’d be a lot more interesting,” she noted. Golden State fans would probably agree, though the product Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and their teammates give on a night-in, night-out basis is certainly entertaining.
5. Ayesha, a home chef, has her own best-selling book and now, TV show
Ayesha Curry is a published author, with “The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith, and the Joy of Eating Well” hitting bookstores this past September, sharing 100 of her favorite recipes. Curry credits her love to cook to her “whole family. My mom is Jamaican and Chinese, and my dad is Polish and African-American, so I’m very mixed [culturally]. The kitchen was the center of our household. I spent all of my time there growing up.” Additionally, thanks to the popularity of her book which at its publishing date ranked 11th on Amazon, Curry’s new TV show “Ayesha’s Homemade,” originally scheduled for the Cooking Channel, recently debuted on the Food Network instead. She still finds time however to cook for the family and even late night after games for her husband. Steph noted a time when “it was me and a couple of friends hanging out in the kitchen, and she asked, ‘Anybody want Banana’s Foster?’… she whipped it up in five minutes.”
4. Ayesha gave up her acting career to become a mother
After high school, Ayesha came to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams and even landed a guest star role on Hannah Montana as a cute girl that one of the main character’s had a crush on in an episode titled “Come Fail Away.” She also starred in a Young-Adult drama series called Whittaker Bay, which, according to TV Guide, was “a drama focusing on four privileged families living in an upscale community on the coast of North Carolina,” clearly taking advantage of Curry’s natural accent. She had tiny roles in the CBS show Gary Unmarried as Tonya, a cool kid at a party, and as “Beautiful Girl” on the Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie. After the birth of her first daughter however, she put her acting aspirations on hold and focused full time on motherhood.
3. The Currys binge watch TV, just like us
“I love watching How to Get Away With Murder, that is our jam,” Ayesha told Cosmopolitan. “We are obsessed with it. I’m sad it’s on hiatus right now… I was really, really, really into American Horror Story: Coven, which I guess was a while ago, but that one I loved. That was probably my favorite [Horror Story] thus far. Some of the other seasons I couldn’t really get into, but it’s almost like if you miss one [episode], you’re done. You’re lost. I love the show Blackish on ABC, it always gives me a good laugh; it’s super relatable for us. It’s one of those things you watch and you’re like, ‘Oh, this is going to be whack,’ and then the first one-liner is completely relatable. You’re hooked.”
2. While they love Beyonce, just like us, they’ve actually met her (and Jay-Z)
“We have a picture with Beyoncé and Jay Z, and he won’t let me post it,” Ayesha said about her husband. “I think it’s because he’s trying to play it cool, but I really want to post it as a throwback Thursday and he’s like, ‘Hmm … let’s not do that.’ And I’m like, ‘All right, fine.’ [It was] at the Super Bowl; we got to meet them Super Bowl weekend. As for Lemonade, Curry said “it was awesome. I loved the imagery and the messages; I thought it was great. But it also made me like … I’m not angry for any reason right now, but it made me want to take a bat to a car window. I mean, when she was smashing in those windows? I was like, “Oh my gosh, that looks like so much fun.”
1. In summation, the Currys really are just like us
Despite the huge financial success and notoriety, the Currys are truly not without the every day trials and tribulations. “[In] any marriage, everything takes work; so we’re five years into our marriage now, and we’re still trying to figure things out,” Ayesha told Cosmopolitan. “But it’s working, which is great. It’s just making sure that irregardless of how tired you are or of what’s going on that you find that time — and make that time — that’s just for each other. Like no kids, no nothing; just each other. I think that has been what’s kept everything running smoothly over here.”
In the meantime we keep making time to check in on the Currys too, hoping for a glimpse of what seems like magic, but is truly the result of two people building a life together.
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