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World Champion Golden State Warriors have Divine Connection
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Most people know Ste-phen Curry as the “leader” of the Golden State Warriors. He has won the NBA Most Valuable Player award for his championship winning season. However, this is not what the 27 year old wants to be remembered for. He wants to be known for his faith in God.Curry was raised in the Lord from a young age. He and his siblings spent every Wednesday night at the church for Bible study and his whole family went to ser-vice on Sundays. He became very close to everyone in his family as they all went to school together. Stephen’s mother ran the school, his aunt was the teacher, and his grandmother was the cook.  He frequently played bas-ketball in the backyard with his brother under stage lights until their mother called them inside to go to bed. Starting in middle school, he attended Charlotte Chris-tian School, where he heard the Gospel on a daily basis. He was confident the Lord had blessed him with the tal-ent to play the game and just wanted to go where He wanted him to be. Curry decided to attend Davidson University after meeting the head basketball coach, who also was a man of God.Four years later, he was the seventh overall draft pick to the Golden State War-riors. After four years with the Warriors, Stephen Curry leads his team to a World Championship with his drive still with Christ. The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in Game Six to win the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years. The Warriors, the top-seeded team in the playoffs after bringing the best record from the regular season, won the best-of-seven champion-ship series 4-2.Local businessman Phil Waterford, President/Owner of Manteca Ford and Exotic High Line, has a personal and professional relation-ship with the Golden State Warriors. He and his fam-ily attended almost every game, including flying with the team on their private jet to and from the finals. The journey included a police escort from the airport to the Ritz Carlton, to the NBA Finals, a champagne celebra-tion in the locker room, a private dinner at Morton’s, a heroes reception back in Oakland, followed by an an incredible parade through the city, which half a million people attended.The team parking lot at Oracle Arena looks like an extension of Waterford’s North Main Street lot, as the exotics as well as Ford vehicles bear the license plates of Phil Waterford’s Manteca Ford. For example, Andrew Bogut drives a Ford F-150 Raptor, Leandro Bar-bosa a Ford Explorer, Head Coach Steve Kerr drives a Ford Escape, and Draymond Green drives a Ford Expedi-tion.  “Everybody is look-ing for a deal, regardless of income or status. We take great pride in giving the best deals regardless of make and model, along with taking care of our customers before, during, and after a sale” stated Phil. As Waterford has developed a business rela-tionship with the team, he has been given opportunities to lead the young men down the right path. “Basketball is just a game. However, life is serious. I love seeing people make good choices, especially young people. Professional athletes have a responsibility as role mod-els to make good choices. I always tell the players to keep God first place in all that they do. The choices that you make, both on and off the court, will determine both your and their legacy.” Phil is extremely proud of the War-riors organization as a whole, from the front office to the ownership group. They are a first class organization!Through his connection to the team and their own faith, Phil had many opportuni-ties to minister to them. Phil has said, “All professional athletes are good. The ones who rise up above the oth-ers are the ones who aren’t afraid to ask for that extra bit of help from the Creator of the Universe. I witnessed the Holy Spirit moving through the locker room with these young players. They were given a platform to reach a lot of people and have used this stage to share how God has been a blessing in their lives and how He can be the same in everyone else’s.”God has given these young men talents to play basket-ball for a living, but they still have to work hard to improve every day. In the grand scheme of things, bas-ketball is just a game that can be taken away at any moment, but basketball gives them opportunities to do good things for people and to point them towards the Man who died for our sins on the cross.Waterford stated, “I know I have a place in heaven wait-ing for me because of Him, and that’s something no earthly prize could ever top.Curry continues to use his standing as a platform to spread the word of God. Curry has won Clutch Player of the Year, Sickest Moves, and Best Male Athlete Kid’s Choice Awards. He was also bestowed the honor of NBA’s Most Valuable Player. Most recently, he was given the awards of both Best NBA Player and Best Male Athlete Espy Awards. Dur-ing his acceptance speech, Curry said, “I never imag-ined myself standing on this stage holding this award. I’m 6-foot-3, 180 pounds soak-ing wet. It’s really nice to be called an athlete once in a while. Thank you very much.” Curry says that none of these awards would have been given to him without his faith in God.