OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Like one of his signature assists, Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry has delivered on a promise made to a 9-year-old Napa girl.
Late last year, Riley Morrison, a fourth grader who loves basketball and lists Curry as her role model, was heartbroken when she couldn’t buy a pair of Under Armour’s new Curry 5 shoes. They weren’t being made in girls sizes.
“I just wanted it to change cause I didn’t think it was fair,” she told CBS This Morning’s Dana Jacobson.
So she wrote Curry a letter, never really expecting a reply from the two-time NBA MVP.
“Dear Stephen Curry, My name is Riley (just like your daughter :)), I’m 9 years old from Napa, California. I am a big fan of yours. I enjoy going to Warriors games with my dad. I asked my dad to buy me the new Curry 5’s because I’m starting a new basketball season. My dad and I visited the Under Armour website and were disappointed to see that there were no Curry 5’s for sale under the girls section.”
“I know you support girls athletes because you have two daughters and you host an all girls basketball camp,” she continued. “I hope you can work with Under Armour to change this because girls want to rock Curry 5’s too.”
But Curry did reply and has struck up a friendship with the young basketball fan. He sent her a special pair of Curry 5’s and added that “you’ll be one of the first kids to get the Curry 6.”
He also invited her to join him at a special ceremony on International Women’s Day on March 8th. On Friday, Under Armour unveiled the surprise announcement.
To honor Morrison, Under Armour and Curry asked Riley to add her personal design touch to the UA ICON Curry 6 United We Win colorway – a blend of purple and deep orchid with white.
In addition to a “United We Win” sockliner, the company said in a release, Riley designed a sockliner that features two girls playing basketball, surrounded by the words that inspired Riley to play the role of a Uniter, such as “Be Fearless,” “Girl Power,” “Be the Change,” Girls Hoop Too,” and “Rock the Currys.”
“I was immediately impressed when I saw Riley’s letter; that a nine year old girl had the courage to use her voice to call attention to an issue and keep us accountable,” Curry said in the company release. “She was focused on the opportunity for ALL girls, not just herself. She’s been an amazing catalyst for change – not only with my product but also with the entire Under Armour brand. She is inspiring, and wise beyond her years.”
Curry told CBS This Morning that his journey with Riley has gone full circle.
“I wanted to make sure she was a part of that,” he said. “It’s awesome to be here to see the entire story come full circle.”
Morrison says she can’t describe the feeling of seeing others wearing the shoes she designed, telling CBS News’ Dana Jacobson it’s “a dream come true.”
“It’s definitely built up my confidence,” Morrison said. “Before I wasn’t very confident. I was really shy. So this definitely helped that.”
Curry said he can’t believe a nine-year-old wrote such a poignant letter.
“I want my girls to know that and have that confidence,” Curry said. “As a father, I think that’s a job we have every single day to hopefully shape their perspective that they can do whatever they want to.”
The timing of Riley getting her shoes is no coincidence. Later Friday night, she’ll wear her new kicks at center court of the Warriors game, on International Women’s Day, right alongside her idol and part-time pen pal.
Morrison also hopes a lesson is learned from her experience.
“We all have a voice and by simply writing a letter you can make a change,” Morrison said.
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