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The Brinks and Currys: A Connection in Family and Basketball

Growing up, spending a week with one of basketballs most popular families was tradition. Now with Seth in Portland, the two families are closer than ever before.

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The Brinks and Currys: A Connection in Family and Basketball

Kyle Pinnell

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It was just 30 minutes after the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers and the family waiting section at the Quicken Loans Arena was packed.

With a beanie over his head and hidden in a camouflage parka, Seth Curry saunters out of the tunnel. He looks quiet and reserved, not like a guy fresh off of a 15-point performance who just went a perfect five-for-five from behind the arc.

Seth starts our conversation off timidly but eventually began to open up more and more as we started talking about a family he knows quite well. This family is the Brinks from Beaverton, Oregon and they have a close connection with the Curry’s. A bond so close that his brother Steph referred to them as more of “close kin.”

So, how are this family and one of basketball’s premier basketball families connected? It all stems back to the mid-1980s in the dorms of Virginia Tech.

GROWING UP TOGETHER

The Curry brothers have known the Brinks their whole lives. Michelle Brink and Sonya Curry were roommates at Virginia Tech where they became great friends. They became so close that when Sonya and her husband Dell had Stephen and Sydel, they asked Michelle and her husband Greg to be the godparents. Years later when Cy and Cameron were born, the Curry’s returned the favor.

And while Michelle and Greg aren’t the direct godparents of Seth Curry, he still considers the Brinks as close family.

Seth says that a lot of his childhood memories involve the Brinks being around. He recalls seeing the Brinks several times a year which included celebrating holidays together and being at Michelle and Greg’s wedding. He even remembers being there when both Cameron and her older brother Cy were less than a year old.

Courtesy of the Brink’s

Despite both families living on opposite sides of the country, they made sure to get together multiple times a year. During these get-togethers, the kids would hang out and take part in activities such as playing board games– which often became just a little too competitive– goofing around in the pool and just playing around together.

No matter what the kids did, you can be sure that some of it was captured on video. Whether it was a feisty one-on-one game between Seth and Steph or Cameron being chased around the house by Steph and Sydel in boxing gloves, Michelle was often there to document the moment.

“They were like the cool aunt and uncle growing up,” Seth says.

Now with Dell working for the Charlotte Hornets and Steph and Seth playing in the NBA, it’s hard to get everyone together. So whenever the Curry’s are in town for a game, the families make sure to congregate and catch up, whether it’s at the Brinks house or a local eatery.

Recently it’s gotten a little easier to see one member of the Curry clan who let the Brinks know that he would be moving to Portland soon via a simple text message.

SETH COMING TO TOWN

Seth, the younger of the two Curry brothers, has moved a lot throughout his time in the NBA, which include stops in Sacramento and Dallas. This past July he inked a two-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, bringing him closer to family.

The day before the news was released to the media, he sent the Brinks a text that simply said: “I’m coming to your town.”

Courtesy of the Brink’s

With his stuff still in Dallas, Seth spent his first week in Portland at the Brinks where he stayed while he was training. He says that the Brinks played a large role in helping him and his now- wife get acclimated to the city. Along with offering food and shopping recommendations, they were always the first to volunteer to watch his daughter, CC, when he was at practice and his wife was out looking for apartments.

“They’ve always been helpful my entire life, but they were very excited and I was very excited to see some family in the area,” Curry says. “People who can make me feel at home and make me feel welcome.”

“I think we all just thought it was exciting that he’d be staying here for a long time, especially since he’s playing so well now,” Cameron adds.

Courtesy of the Brink’s

Now with the season well underway everyone is busier, but Seth says that he still tries to see the Brinks at least once every other week. The last time everyone gathered together was for the Super Bowl. Curry loves coming to the Brinks where he can get some home-cooked food and relax with family to help him take his mind off the long NBA season.

Seth is also a bit of an avid gamer, so during the Super Bowl festivities, he spent a lot of time on his iPad where he watched YouTube videos of people playing video games.

“Most people don’t know, but Seth is super quiet, the opposite of Steph who is a little more outgoing,” Cameron says.

Adds Michelle: “Actually we made a joke about Seth having to quiet down. He was disrupting the festivities.”

Along with his quiet and humble nature, Seth cares about his image and how he is perceived by others.

Near the beginning of the season, the Brinks received some courtside seats through work and offered them to Seth’s fiancé and his mom. However, Seth turned them down because he thought that it would be a bad look; he didn’t want it to be perceived that because he has the last name “Curry” his family members get to have special seats.

“I just don’t like my mom and girl sitting courtside at games,” Seth says. “It’s a little weird for me to have them sit that close to the court.”

And while he may get a little flustered by the prospect of his immediate family sitting courtside, he does appreciate when they are at his games to support him.

Courtesy of the Brink’s

When Steph was in Portland for an Under Armour meeting in early November he spent the night at a Blazer game. Sitting in a suite with some executives– and of course, the Brinks– the older of the two Curry brothers was able to take the night off and support his younger sibling who was playing the Lakers.

Now that Seth plays in Portland it’s easier for everyone to get together when Steph and the Golden State Warriors roll into town twice a year. The last time the two brothers went head-to-head was this past February when the Blazers hosted the Warriors right before Valentine’s day.

THE AVERAGE CURRY V. CURRY GAMEDAY

It’s always a big day when the Warriors travel to Portland, but now with Seth playing for the Blazers, these games mean just a little more.

Because the players’ schedules are predetermined each season, every visit tends to be a little different. When the Warriors visited near Halloween, they came in the day before the game, so everybody had time get together for dinner the night before. However, last month the Warriors got into Portland early the day of the game due to playing the Utah Jazz the night before, so there wasn’t any time to get together when Steph was in town.

While the Brinks couldn’t see Curry as much as they would have liked to, what made the last visit unique was that Steph brought his two daughters, Ryan and Riley, up to Portland because his wife, Ayesha, was in New York City. And of course, since Curry was busy all day, Ryan and Riley got to spend the day with the Brinks.

“He brought Riley and Ryan with him and then that morning when I finished my workout he called me saying the girls wanted to come hang out,” Michelle said. “That’s special; that doesn’t normally happen.”

That day Michelle and the girls decided to buy some bundt cakes before driving out to Southridge to surprise Cameron. Those moments in the middle of a busy season are just as sweet as the cakes for the Brinks.

Courtesy of the Brink’s

No matter how busy everyone is during the day, everyone makes sure to gather in the tiny family area in the bowels of the Moda Center after the game. On this particular night, the Blazers defeated the Warriors 129-107 and afterward while everyone was waiting they decided to take part in a dance party which was going on in the kid’s room. By the time Seth and Steph walked in, Riley was in the heat of a dance battle with her aunt, Sydel.

Suddenly in the middle of all the commotion, Steph turned to Cameron and talked to her about her last game. “Oh, I heard you had thirty last night,” he told her.

And that perfectly sums up the type of person that Steph is. Even after a tough loss in Portland that snaps his team’s rather lengthy win streak, he still touches base with Cameron to ask about her season.

“Just when you think he’s way too busy to be watching high school girls basketball, he’s watching and he takes the time to comment,” Michelle says.

A Family Connected

Every summer, Cameron plays with the Cal Stars, an AAU team based in northern California. In between practices and games, the Brinks spend time at Steph’s house where the families hang out, rest, and sometimes swim. Cameron says that she enjoys playing with the girls when both families get together. Oftentimes they play with dolls, swim, or even help their mom, Ayesha, cook.

In just over a year Cameron will call the Bay Area home as well after committing to Stanford in October. And with Palo Alto being just a thirty-minute drive away from where Steph lives, he jokes that he and his friend will buy Cardinal season tickets so that he can see Cameron play live.

But until then, the Curry’s still make sure to tune into Cameron’s games through streams. During her freshman year, Cameron received a technical foul and just minutes later Michelle received a text from Steph asking whether Cameron really got a technical. Other times Steph will comment on the referring of a controversially-called game.

“Steph will sometimes stream her games and then he’ll text me and ask if Cameron just hit a three and I’ll be surprised that he took the time out of his busy schedule to stream her game,” Michelle says.

Adds Seth: “ I’ll check them out. During the playoffs and the state tournament, I’m always checked in the see how she’s playing and see how the team is doing. I’m always tuned in.”

Courtesy of the Brink’s

Cameron knows that despite what she does on the court, she will always be connected to the Curry’s off the court. Not every family has one of the NBA’s marquee players crash on their couch the night before a game. Not everyone has one of basketball’s best shooters helping tweak their free throw form growing up. The connection will always be there– and Cameron knows that– but she doesn’t care. Before Steph pointed at her courtside while yelling “I’m back,” she was the little girl getting chased around the house by Steph and Sydel.

“It felt normal,” Cameron says. “It didn’t feel like I was playing with the future stars of the NBA.”

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