From the unruly streets of the Bronx, to Iowa State University and now in his second full year with the Iowa Energy, Curtis Stinson has made quite a name for himself.
He is the leading assist man in the NBA D-League, just named performer of the week, and second on the team in scoring. It's not rocket science that he is a big part of the Energy's success this year.
That success includes a league best 30-6 record and sitting atop the Eastern Conference.
"We all have the same attitude and there aren't big egos on the team," said Stinson. "We play tough defense and play together." That togetherness has led to eight players averaging double digits in scoring this season. Stinson is one of those eight averaging 14.5 points a game. He is also recording an astounding 10.3 assists per outing.
The NBA developmental league was designed so players had a chance to develop their skills and show NBA scouts their talents. So to the average person, the D-League might be a step down or a disappointing level to be on? Not the case said Stinson.
"It's been great for me and given me opportunities," he informed. "The only bad part is when you have to play for different teams," he added. "But playing for the Energy has been the best thing that's happened to me. Coach has given me the ball and let me be the leader."
Many people remember Stinson from his years at Iowa State. From 2003-2006 he gave fans many exciting performances, memorable games and brought a certain toughness to the floor with him. What he took from there has definitely carried over to his time now with the Energy.
"Coach Morgan basically gave me the ball and threw me in the fire," replied Stinson. "I matured quickly and had to be the leader. It definitely got me ready."
So what about goals for the NBA?
"I've never played in the NBA but I was at the Bulls training camp this year," said Stinson. "You never know with the NBA and I don't have a timetable but it's definitely a dream of mine."
Only a small percentage of athletes ever make it to the NBA. However, whether it's the Bronx, Iowa State, the Energy or someday making to the NBA, Stinson definitely has the toughness and grit to do it.
"My mom always told me to never back down," said Stinson. "Growing up in the Bronx you had to be tough. I've never been scared of anything."
For any additional information on Stinson, visit the Energy's official page.
Look for more player bios in coming articles.