Curry Climbing Albion's Scoring Ladder

Curry Climbing Albion's Scoring Ladder

Oreyana Curry hopes to change the world by working in the education profession after graduating from Albion College in May, but right now she's acting more like a surgeon by slicing through the lane to the basket for the Briton women's basketball team.

By averaging nearly 19 points per game, it took the senior from Dearborn Heights only 14 games to exceed her scoring production from last season. She has scored at least 20 points eight times this season, the most since Brett de Bear had 10 such games in 2014. de Bear went on to finish the 2014 season with 450 points, second-most at Albion.

And Curry is getting to the basket, shooting 46 percent from the field and placing herself among the NCAA Division III leaders in free throws made and attempted.

"While the offense provides opportunities for everyone, my role has changed," Curry said referring to the system Albion has implemented to overcome its lack of size and experience in the front court. "There are a lot of cuts to the basket that produce a lot of shots in the paint. I like attacking the basket and getting 'and ones' (where she is awarded a free throw after being fouled when making a driving layup) are my favorite.

"My teammates and coaches have put a lot of trust in me, and when we need to score I have been able to get to the basket," she added. "I have been set up in opportunities to make shots, and when I make one shot, I think of the basket as becoming wide open.

"I think it's easier to have to have another (20-point game) once you've already had one because scoring is all about confidence," she continued. "I try to let the game come to me. I don't necessarily have to go out and shoot from the start."

Curry isn't only attacking the basket. Currently 14th on Albion's all-time scoring ladder with 889 points, she is 38 away from moving into the top 10 and 111 shy of becoming the ninth Briton to achieve 1,000 points in her career.

In her mind, it's like Curry is joining an exclusive club.

"It's an honor to join those names because they have brought championships and a lot of wins to our program," Curry said when asked about what it's like to place her name alongside of the greatest to play basketball at Albion.

That's not to say Curry has always had a scoring mentality. Her coach at Crestwood High School challenged Curry to bring her ebullient persona to the court and she's had a difficult time finding the balance meshing her personality and basketball skills on the court.

While she jokes the last name is the only thing she shares with her idol, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, her desire is to copy the attitude he brings to the game. If she is successful, that attitude will help her lead the young Briton squad with two seniors, a sophomore and two first-year student-athletes in the starting lineup to a place as one of the four teams left standing for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament at the end of February.

"I was very timid on the court early in my high school career," Curry said. "My high school coach asked me why I didn't act the way you did off the court. And I said it was because I was goofy and basketball had to be serious. I found the balance between the two – my personality and my basketball talents – my senior year.

"I started having a lot more fun on the court," the player who expresses some of that joy by dancing in the center of a circle formed by her teammates before the start of every game added. "I think I averaged 15 or 16 points my senior year while still playing point guard, so I was still doing a lot of distributing, too."

A mathematics major with a minor in Spanish and a concentration in education at Albion, Curry hopes to take her leadership skills to change the world for children growing up in Detroit.

"High school principal would be my dream job but I'm going to be a math teacher first," she said. "And maybe coaching, too, because I don't think I can give the game up.

"I went to Detroit Public Schools growing up and I know there has been a lot of controversy, and our neighborhood when I was growing up was not ideal" she added. "I see some of the houses and I can't imagine I used to live there. I would like to teach and maybe be the superintendent one day to impact the children growing up in those communities. That could be my change."