True Champion

Description

Michael Redd believes basketball is the greatest sport in the world! But he values his faith and his family above all of his worldly achievements.

On Feb. 20, 2002, in a game against Houston, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Michael Redd set an NBA record—eight three-pointers in one quarter (the fourth) for 29 total game points! Michael says, “I give God all the praise, I never shot the basketball like that before in a game.” Here is what Michael says about his success in the NBA:

It was a long road to get to where I am today in the NBA. As a rookie, I didn’t play that much. I wasn’t really in the rotation at all. I came from college playing a lot of minutes to not playing at all as a rookie. I wasn’t a shooter in college; I had to become a three-point shooter for the NBA. It took a lot of time in the gym, a lot of prayers, and believing I can be one of the best players in the NBA—I’m still working to get to that point. But as the year went on I got more playing time. Without my faith [in God] it would have been really, really tough to get through [that time] not playing.

I grew up in a Bible-believing home, my father being a pastor for 30 years; it’s all I’ve known. I received Jesus Christ [into my heart] when I was 17 years old but He didn’t really become personal to me until about two or three years ago. It took some experiences, some trials and tribulations, that’s what helped develop my relationship with Christ over the last few years.

God is love, His love is unconditional. God has pulled me out of situations I knew I shouldn’t be in. But in His mercy, He loves me so much that He gives me a second chance, a third chance... 

A lot of kids are watching us and are influenced and impacted by our game. I handle temptation by staying rooted in [reading and knowing] the Bible, and prayer. You literally have to do those things to avoid temptations. I walk in [God’s] Spirit and surround myself with people that love God and continue to encourage me.

My dad is my role model, my hero. My dad has taught me everything I know as far as life and basketball. He has had a great impact on my life... to see what he’s gone through to be a full-time dad, pastor and husband; it’s not an easy thing to do. Those are things I value, that is success.

Success is being obedient to what God is telling you to do. Worldly achievements [like playing in the NBA] are a blessing from God, but not ultimate success. Winning championships, the Hall of Fame, or being mentioned as one of the best—MVP, these are not ultimate success.

I believe basketball is the greatest sport in the world! But basketball is not who I am. I value my faith and my family more than basketball. After everything is said and done... after I retire, I want people to say, “He loved God and he represented Christ well.”


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