As a 12-year-old kid growing up in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, Oreyana Curry always wanted to play with the boys. She grew up playing football, basketball and kickball, but she stuck with basketball. Now in her final season at Albion, Curry became just the ninth woman to score 1000 points in her career for the Brits’ women’s basketball program.
“Of course it’s a huge accomplishment for myself, but the people before me have done great things for our basketball program,” said Curry. “I’m happy my teammates and coaches have put me in such great positions to score the ball.”
In the MIAA, Curry is averaging 16 points per game, which is second only to Calvin College’s Ali Spayde. She’s also fifth in the conference with a 76.8 free throw percentage and 12th with a 42.6 field goal percentage.
At Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights, Curry was a two-time Western Wayne Athletic Conference and team MVP pick. In her senior year, she earned an honorable mention all-state status. Curry was also an academic achievement award winner all four years at Crestwood. It was during her junior year, however, that she decided she wanted to play at the collegiate level.
“I started playing organized basketball in seventh grade at my middle school, but I realized my junior year of high school that I potentially only had two more years left of playing,” said Curry. “That’s when I decided I wanted to play at the collegiate level.”
In her four years at Albion, Curry says she’s learned how to be a much better decision maker and all-around player. A big part of her strategy is attacking the rim and getting shots off quickly, and she has spent a lot of time working on those aspects of her game. Since she isn’t one of the taller players on the court, she prides herself on being able to stop and shoot before she’s heavily guarded.
Though she’s a smaller player at 5’3”, Curry is aggressive in the paint. She has an ability to get to the basket which allows her to score, but it also opens up areas on the court for her teammates to score. Her aggressiveness going toward the basket also allows her to draw a lot of fouls and shoot from the free throw line.
“I like to draw contact when I attack the basket and get to the free throw line,” she said. “A lot of my points come from the stripe.”
Head Coach Doreen Carden said she’s always proud when her players accomplish goals and break records. She describes Curry as “very likable, able to lighten up the mood when we need it and has fun with her teammates.” While she likes to have fun, Carden attributes much of Curry’s success at Albion to being a student of the game.
“She’s in a category with a lot of good players that played at Albion,” said Carden.
Curry, majoring in mathematics with a concentration in education and a minor in Spanish, intends to come back to Albion to do student teaching for the spring 2018 semester. Her short-term goal is to be a high school math teacher, but she would like to one day become a high school principal.
Photo courtesy of Albion Athletics