Stephen Curry / Image General Mills

What’s it take to appear on the cover of a General Mills Wheaties cereal box?

For starters, you have to have reached athletic achievement and personify the spirit of a champion on and off your field of competition.

Bob Richards was the first to appear on the box. Richards won a gold medal at the 1952 Helsinki Games and the 1956 Melbourne Games, and was Wheaties’ first official spokesman.  Michael Jordan, known as the greatest basketball player in NBA history, appeared on the Wheaties’ cover more than 18 times, more than any other athlete.

A list of “who’s who” on the Wheaties cereal box

Since 1958, everyone from athletes to non-athletes and sports teams have appeared the box’s cover, yet there have been only seven spokespersons for the Wheaties brand. The Stephen Curry box had a run of several months before being replaced by Michael Phelps in August 2016.

Curry graced the cover gentleman style. The three-time NBA All Star, posed in a single-button light gray suit and blue tie. In 2015, Curry led the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA title since 1975. The following season, he led the league in scoring.

 

A champion in the fight against malaria

Many athletes, like Jordan, appeared on the box multiple times, but what sets Curry apart from other Wheaties’ spokespersons is his humanitarian contributions through the United Nations Nothing But Net Campaign. Off the basketball court, Curry is a champion in the fight against malaria. For every three pointer he made, Curry donated three life-saving bed nets. Over the course of three seasons, it added up to over 2,300 nets.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that typically infects a certain type of mosquito that feeds on humans. People who get malaria become very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness.

The World Health Organization estimates that in 2015, 214 million clinical cases of malaria occurred globally.  Each year, an estimated 219 million people are infected with malaria, causing approximately 600,000 deaths – mostly children under the age of five.

Anti-malaria drugs, artemisinin — from the Qinghao plant, and quinine — from the cinchona tree, have been effective in treating the disease, however, bed nets treated with an insecticide have proven to form a protective barrier around people sleeping under them.

 

Looking for the next Stephen Curry

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Wheaties Cereral Box / Image: Etsy

Curry shoots. He scores.

The crowd that roars for every point Curry makes is nothing compared to the number of nets he helped donate.

Those who follow social media may be looking forward to the next athlete to win multiple gold medals, or a spokesperson who possesses a magnetic personality, but I’m looking for the next Stephen Curry. Not a Stephen Curry who demonstrates superhuman physical talents or skills, but a person who lets go of their ego and helps builds a bridge between the haves and the have- nots.

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