You probably know who Stephen Curry is, because it’s very difficult not to as a person living in Canada at this particular moment in time, as the Golden State Warriors face off the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.
But did you know that Golden State’s star player spent a year and a half living in Toronto as a teen? Did you know that his wife, Ayesha Curry, grew up in Markham, Ont.? Did you know that when the two of them met in North Carolina as teens, they bonded over a shared love for Canadian candy?
Not to express disloyalty of any kind, particularly basketball-related, but you have to admit that’s a pretty solid basis for a marriage.
Steph Curry, arguably the best player currently in the NBA, moved to Toronto as a pre-teen when his father, basketball player Dell Curry, played three seasons for the Raptors.
And Ayesha Alexander, who would become Ayesha Curry in 2011, grew up in Markham, part of the GTA that’s northeast of downtown. But, their paths never crossed in Toronto — they didn’t meet until both of their families moved to North Carolina in the early 2000s.
Their families attended the same Charlotte, N.C. church, and they met in youth group. When Ayesha found out Steph was into the same Maynards candy as she was, she made the best romantic gesture possible: “I got him some fuzzy peaches, but I was so shy I didn’t say anything. I just handed them to him and walked off,” she told the Charlotte Observer shortly after their wedding.
It sounds like it was the right choice of gift. Asked by the Toronto Star what he remembers about living in Toronto in the early 2000s, his answer was “this brand called Maynards.”
“Shout-out to them,” he added. “I got no skin in the game, I just love their stuff. Every time I go back, I stash up.”
There were other things he liked about Toronto, too, although we can’t fault him for putting the candy first. When he was 13, he was the highest-scoring student on the basketball team of Queensway Christian College, a now-closed private school in Toronto’s west end.
“It was a great time [in Toronto], met some really cool people,” Curry at a news conference on Monday. “Still in touch with my middle school coach, James Lackey, who still supports me to this day. I mean, there’s a lot of connections.”
As for his wife, Ayesha still describes herself in her Instagram bio as a “passionate dual citizen.” In 2013, she wrote a blog post called “Oh Canada!” about a trip her family took back to Toronto. “I absolutely love going back to Toronto,” she wrote.
Her husband also accuses her of sounding “Canadian,” whatever that means. “She’s got a strong Canadian accent that comes back like that,” Curry said at the news conference, snapping his fingers. “I’m always amazed when that happens.”
No word yet on whether any of their three children have tried fuzzy peaches.
With files from John Chidley-Hill at The Canadian Press
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Markham, Ont., was located northwest of downtown Toronto. In fact, it is located northeast of downtown Toronto.