Eleven years ago Thursday, a little-known guard from a small college in North Carolina burst onto the scene.
That guard was Steph Curry, an eventual three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP. But before he was Steph Curry, he led Davidson to a first-round upset of Gonzaga in the 2008 NCAA men's basketball tournament.
He posted what would become a stereotypical Steph stat-line, connecting on 80 percent of his 3-point attempts to knock off the Zags. The win kick-started 10th-seeded Davidson's surprise run to the Elite Eight, and it began with a clutch performance from Curry.
Davidson trailed Gonzaga by five heading into the second half, and by as many as 11 points with fewer than 16 minutes left. But Curry scored 30 of his 40 points -- his NCAA tournament-high -- in the second half, and led the Wildcats to the upset.
11 years ago today, @StephenCurry30 had his coming out party in the NCAA tournament!
📊 40 PTS (14-22 FG, 8-10 3PT), 5 STL
pic.twitter.com/L82fjxesBC— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 21, 2019
Curry's sophomore season ended nine days later, three points shy of upsetting eventual champion Kansas and advancing to the Final Four. But by then, his name was firmly in the national consciousness, and his path to basketball superstardom had begun in earnest.
Little did anyone know that the beginning of said path would look a lot like what's followed over the ensuing decade.