Donate! Support your community news.
Subscribe! News delivered to your inbox.

NCDOT Names Exit 30 Interchange for Stephen Curry

by | Dec 7, 2023

Former Davidson president Tom Ross led the community effort to name the interchange for Curry. [screenshot from the meeting]

On Thursday, December 7, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Board of Transportation held their monthly meeting. The meeting was in-person with an online, streaming component, as well.

The leading business agenda item was “Road, Bridge, and Ferry Naming Honorary Designations.”

The first such naming resolution was for the Wake Forest University Women’s Golf team who won the 2023 NCAA Championship. The second resolution was the Congressman David Price interchange, I-40 Exit 270.

Roughly 30 minutes into the meeting, board chair Michael Fox introduced the third naming agenda item, the resolution to name the Exit 30 interchange on I-77 for Stephen Curry. Fox called NCDOT Division 10 representative, Tony Lathrop, to read the resolution. (see the full resolution below)

Before he finished reading the resolution, Lathrop stopped at the mention of “Exit 30” and said it is no coincidence that Steph Curry’s number in high school, college, and the NBA was and is 30.

Following the reading, the vote was called and there was a flood of offers to second the motion attributed to Lathrop. The motion to approve the resolution passed unanimously.

Sonya Curry

Board Chair Fox subsequently invited, as he called him, “Judge Tom Ross” to the podium to further discuss the resolution and his efforts to support the measure. Ross has been leading the community effort to name the interchange for the Davidson College alum, who was a student when Ross served as president of Davidson.

Ross started by telling those gathered that the motto around Davidson is “Exit 30 for number 30.”

Ross introduced three people who were influential in Steph Curry’s life: mother Sonya Curry, former coach Bob McKillop, and Davidson athletic director Chris Clunie. Before turning the microphone over to them, Ross told several personal stories about Curry. One of those stories was to highlight Curry’s commitment to finishing his degree. “Steph, unlike many of his colleagues in the NBA, went back to school while the NBA was on strike. He took three courses during that fall.” That led to his ability to complete his Davidson degree in 2022.

The second of Ross’s story highlighted Curry’s selflessness. When Curry was college basketball’s leading scorer in his junior year, the Wildcats faced an opponent intent on shutting down the prolific shooter. They decided to double- and- triple-team him in order to stifle his shot-making. Once Curry realized this, he decided to stand in the corner of the court. The opponent’s players followed him. The game played on as the four remaining Wildcats essentially played the game against 2-3 players. It was the only game that Ross recalled Curry only scoring in the single digits.

Ross also shared that Curry was overheard talking to the other team’s players, as the game played on without them. “He asked them what they were majoring in and what courses they were taking. That’s the kind of guy he is.”

Steph Curry’s head coach at Davidson, Bob McKillop.

As Ross finished, he turned the comments over to Curry’s mother, Sonya Curry.

Sonya was emotional about the honor. She said her heart was racing. “To think that I’m going to ride up 77 and see an exit with my child’s name. It means so much to our family to see this come to fruition.”

She also took time to talk about her son’s humility when he learned about the proposal. During a recent visit to see her son and his family, they talked about the proposal, and she said that he really couldn’t believe it.

“We are honored that the community of Davidson would think so much, so highly of him and his experience there. It just continues to show the partnership in the Davidson community with us and our family, and we are eternally grateful for this opportunity, acknowledgement, and honor. Thank you all so much.”

Ross subsequently introduced Bob McKillop as the head coach who shared his “Trust, Care, and Commitment” ethos with Curry. McKillop talked about Curry being a global icon, and one who has done it with “a grace and dignity that is rarely found in people who have reached that status in notoriety.”

“If we had more leaders in our world like Stephen Curry, this world would be heck of a lot better place.”

McKillop closed by echoing Sonya Curry’s reflections on Curry’s humility. “Sonya said it the right way, the confidence that Stephen shows on the basketball court is balanced by the humility that is so extraordinary in his life. To see an icon, a leader, balance that humility with that confidence is quite a statement about who he is.”

Davidson athletic director Chris Clunie.

Clunie wrapped up the virtual remarks with words of thanks on behalf of Davidson College. “Thank you. Thank you for this honor. It’s incredible for the institution, and for the Town of Davidson, as well. Stephen is an incredible basketball player, but he is an even better person.”

And from the playbook of the in-person and virtual worlds, the “group” photo was taken with Tom Ross, Michael Fox, and Tony Lathrop in person, and with Sonya Curry, Bob McKillop, and Chris Clunie on the big screen behind them.

When reached for comment following the meeting, Ross had the following to say. “I am delighted that the Board of Transportation approved my application to name the interchange at Exit 30 and I-77 in honor of Stephan Curry.  No one doubts Steph is a great basketball player, that he is the best shooter ever in the game, and that he has changed the way the game is played.  Steph is an equally great person who, through his many generous and selfless efforts to help others, has made Davidson College, the Town of Davidson, and the State of North Carolina proud.  He is very deserving of this honor, and I thank the Town Council and North Carolina Board of Transportation for their support.”

The video from the Stephen Curry resolution portion of the NCDOT meeting has been posted on the News of Davidson Facebook page, it is also available here.



Support Your Community News