By Marty Gordon
The mother of an NBA star is talking about the racism she faced while growing up in Radford.
Sonya Curry, who most people remember as Sonya Adams when she played volleyball and basketball as a Bobcat in the late 80s, recently said that while growing up in the New River Valley she learned that racism was real.
After graduation from Radford, she played volleyball at Virginia Tech where she met her future husband, Dell Curry. They have two sons, Steph and Seth, with Steph shining at Golden State in the National Basketball League.
The matriarch of the Curry family told sports site, TheUndefeated.com, that she regularly heard stories about her mother being a part of desegregation at the high school.
She also said she is now sharing those stories with her children.
“I wanted them [sons Steph and Seth] to understand that, in their world that could be seen as sheltered, they need to hear those stories,” Sonya told The Undefeated during the recent NBA all-star weekend in Charlotte where the family now lives.
Step Curry said his mother told him they grew up differently than she did.
Sonya, now 52 years old, told the sports site she remembers a time when she was 11 years old and a scorekeeper at a women’s softball game when something unexpected happened. She described an all-black team facing an all-white one.
According to her, the game was getting ready to start when a guy in white garb rode across the outfield on horseback and lit a cross.
Sonya said a fight then broke out.
She said that she found a way to overcome that racism through sports and it was her athletic talent that shielded her from racism.
“You had to play sports and I had to be the best to force them to play with me,” Sonya told The Undefeated.
She said Radford High School as being less than one percent black when she attended.
Sonya has overcome those early years and leads by example in her adult life including opening the doors to a Montessori School at Lake Norman in 1995.