OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — In an empty gym on a small campus deserted for spring break, one of the NBA’s top future prospects receives shooting guidance from coaches on Stephen Curry’s training team.
Scoot Henderson goes through some of the same drills as the Golden State superstar himself — one-footed free throws, catch-and-shoots from around the perimeter, two dribbles between the legs then let it fly from the top of the 3-point arc.
On the other end of the court in the Laney College arena is Henderson’s younger sister, Moochie, who has committed to play guard for Georgia State.
The Hendersons, teenagers and the youngest of seven children, are receiving a one-of-a-kind opportunity partnering with Curry’s company, SC30 Inc., to gain support and guidance as the family develops its brand — on and off the court.
“Just getting this early training and early knowledge from Steph mentoring me and the people around him, it’s a blessing,” Scoot Henderson said. “Me just turning 19, just getting that knowledge early, it’s really cool.”
Curry is helping Henderson build his business model and will offer his resources to the rising star and his family as the point guard makes the transition to the next level. He finished his high school coursework more than 1 1/2 years early to play two seasons for the G League Ignite and has established himself as a projected top-three draft pick.
Curry’s involvement includes opening his network to connect Henderson with shooting coaches, the two-time MVP’s strength and conditioning team and others leading up to the NBA draft next month.
They spent some time getting to know each other in late March, when Scoot and Moochie went through a training session with Curry’s coaches for a morning at Laney College.
What appeals to Curry beyond Henderson’s talent, which makes him one of the most athletic point guards in the 2023 class, is the commitment to community he has demonstrated at home in Marietta, Georgia.
“They’ve developed a perspective on the blessings from the game of basketball and the doors that it’s opened and the platform that you’re given. The resources you have access to can all lead to a sense of purpose outside of just putting the ball in the basket,” said Curry, whose Warriors were eliminated Friday by the Lakers in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals. “They’re obviously wise beyond their years on that front and understanding that you can do both.”
Henderson is grateful he can lean on Curry, whose off-court work with children and aiding the less fortunate includes his Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation focused on fighting childhood hunger, supporting education and providing safe places for kids to be active.
Five years ago, Henderson’s parents, Chris and Crystal, opened a gym called Next Play 360 near their home to offer an inclusive space with an emphasis on academics, athletics, leadership and community outreach.
Henderson himself has helped plan holiday gift and food drives — aiding 75 families last year with the next goal being 360 families, then 3,600 and eventually 36,000 — among other projects, and he hopes to keep doing more.
The Hendersons partner with schools in Cobb County to identify those in need.
“Helping my community strive, that was always the vision,” Henderson said. “If I was going up, my family was going up with me. That was the vision for all my siblings.”
Moochie is also benefiting from having access to Curry’s team of experts, acknowledging, “Being a 17-year-old coming out here and getting this experience is really important.”
The Hendersons realize how fortunate they are to be getting a head start thanks to Curry’s resources.
“It’s almost unreal, actually, Steph Curry is probably my favorite player in the world,” said Chris, who has coached Moochie’s teams teams for years. “They benefit from it but I benefit, too. It’s a blessing for my kids just to be a part of it.”
They got connected through some of Curry’s longtime colleagues who thought the two might make great partners given their shared commitment to balancing basketball and philanthropy.
“To be a support system for that and how that’s going to evolve over time, that’s the exciting part and it reinvigorates another energy to what we’re doing because you understand — I’m the old guy — the next generation is about that life as well,” Curry said.