CHARLOTTE (AP) — Sonya Curry hasn’t stopped smiling all weekend.
She has had quality time with her grandchildren with the entire family in town for All-Star Weekend festivities. She even hit a half-court shot at a community center her family helped refurbish.
On Saturday night, she emerged from Suite 21 at the Spectrum Center beaming after spending the evening with family and watching sons Stephen and Seth and husband Dell participate in the NBA All-Star 3-point contest.
“It’s been everything that I hoped it would be,” she said of her sons’ return to their hometown for All-Star weekend. “Seeing Dell out there on the court being able to share that moment with the boys was awesome. And having the family all here to watch — that’s hard to beat.”
With remnants of half-eaten appetizers and drinks still sitting on the counter, some of the young ones were starting to fuss having grown restless after being up well past their bedtimes.
Still, Sonya didn’t want the night to end.
Neither did her husband.
Dell had changed into a suit and tie after shooting a few balls alongside former NBA players Glen Rice, Mark Price and Ray Allen to raise money for charity before the main 3-point event began.
It didn’t come close to the most fun he had on Saturday — or this weekend.
“Look around, all of our family was in here,” he said pointing to a crowded suite as Stephen’s wife Ayesha put their 19-month old son Canon into a stroller. “They had a great time, you could tell. That’s what it is all about — to give our family a chance to experience this and be a part of it.”
The have been plenty of highlights and memories made during the Curry homecoming.
Former Duke star Seth fulfilled a lifelong dream of participating in his first All-Star 3-point contest and his girlfriend Callie Rivers, daughter of NBA coach Doc Rivers, has been wearing a large diamond ring on her left hand — though Seth has declined to publicly comment on their reported engagement.
Stephen got to cross off a bucket list item when he leaped into the student section at his alma mater Davidson on Friday night after the Wildcats rallied to beat St. Joseph’s. He posed for pictures with Davidson students who were wearing only Speedos and smiles, saying “I didn’t get to do that when I was playing there, so I wanted to get that experience.”
Dell was honored at the NBA Legends brunch Sunday after spending 16 seasons in the league and retiring as the Hornets all-time leading scorer, a mark that has since been broken by All-Star Kemba Walker.
And Sonya made the biggest shot by a Curry this weekend. She drained an underhand toss from half-court on Friday — and then launched into a wild celebration — after beating her three children’s teams at a Charlotte community center the Curry family helped to refurbish.
“A perfect ending to that event,” Stephen later said.
In the end, the results didn’t matter.
This weekend was about making family memories.
“It’s rare that we all get in the same place at the same time,” said Seth, “but to have my dad recognized by the NBA in a city where he played for the Hornets and where us kids grew up in is pretty special. It’s been one of the best All-Star weekends I have been a part of.”
Stephen agreed, even after going 4 of 17 from 3-point range in a Team Giannis’ 178-164 loss to Team LeBron on Sunday night in the All-Star game.
He had his moments, including a 4-point play after being fouled by Warriors teammate Klay Thompson, a bounce pass over the rim to Giannis Antetokounmpo for a jam and a pass to himself for a reverse dunk on the final play of the game.
“Having my family and friends, people I grew up with come out and celebrate (shows) how important Charlotte is to me and my entire family,” Stephen said after Sunday night’s game. “Having the game here was very surreal, and one I’ll remember for a very long time, despite the missed shots and the loss.”
He didn’t have long to soak it all in; he boarded a plane back to San Francisco after the game.
For Dell and Sonya, the All-Star Weekend took them full circle.
It was 27 years ago when Dell competed in the All-Star 3-point contest in Orlando, Florida — with 3-year-old Stephen at courtside with him.
On Saturday night, Stephen simulated that moment by wearing the same multi-colored warmup jacket that he wore in 1992 sitting on his dad’s lap.
“The league did a really nice thing with incorporating us with our kids being here,” said Dell, who moved his family to Charlotte in 1988 and never left. “We are blessed to be a part of this with our sons in the NBA. I can’t explain how happy and proud we are to be able to be on the court with them.”
Dell said what he may remember the most about the weekend is seeing the family together.
“We don’t get to see our grandkids enough,” he said after walking out of Suite 21 on Saturday night. “So to be able to spend some time with them is great. It’s late. It’s past their bedtime.
But mom and dad let them stay up a little bit longer — because it was a special night.
And a special weekend.