NCAA Basketball Closeup: Brady Heslip

There was a time when Baylor University senior guard Brady Heslip’s lifelong dream of playing college basketball was on the fringes. Heslip, considered one of the best three-point shooters in NCAA Division I basketball, transferred from Boston College to Baylor in June of 2010 after then-Boston College head coach Al Skinner was fired. This led Heslip—the Burlington, Ontario, native—from the east coast to central Texas. Forced to sit out a year, Heslip’s future, once certain in Boston, was now in question. What made his future more in question, Heslip knew, was his physical shape. “I was overweight, that’s just plain and simple what it was,” Heslip told The (Toronto) Globe and Mail. Heslip was a kid, and he ate like one and lived like one. He liked junk food. He didn’t take the best care of his body. But he knew he needed to change if he wanted a chance Read More

NBA Closeup: Kevin Durant

Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant and his mentor, Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz, recently dropped by Lifechurch.tv for an interview with pastor Craig Groeschel. Durant and Lentz talked about their friendship and answered questions from Groeschel about growing spiritually. Durant also talked about the importance of leaving a legacy. “I want to be known for serving people,” Durant says. “When people see me, they think I deserve something. I don’t deserve anything. I don’t deserve to be put in the front of the line at the movies or get a free meal, I don’t deserve anything. I think for me, I just wanna go up to people and impact their lives. Whether it’s from me inspiring them from playing basketball or just going up and asking them how their family is doing, that’s what I want to be known as. “Also, a legacy changer. I didn’t grow up with Read More

NFL Closeup: Case Keenum

The Houston Texans have seemingly had a revolving door at quarterback this season, but it has benefited Case Keenum, one of college football’s most prolific passers in history. For Keenum, though, the journey from top to bottom to the top again has been quick and quirky. A year after he rewrote the NCAA record books while playing quarterback at the University of Houston, he went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft before signing with the Houston Texans as a free agent. But for Keenum, the NCAA’s all-time record holder in total passing yards (19,217), touchdowns (155), and completions (1,546), as well as the Football Bowl Subdivision’s all-time leader in total offense (20,114), he had to deal with life away from the game while still being part of the team – because he only made the Texans’ practice squad and never saw the field during the 2012 NFL season. So the Read More

NFL Closeup: Ryan Mundy

Ryan Mundy reminds us to make the most of every situation, even if the situation isn’t ideal. Mundy was leading the New York Giants in tackles (42) and had a momentous 91-yard return off an interception (in the Giants’ first game against Dallas) before hurting his hip late in the game against Minnesota on Oct. 22. That resulted in being replaced by strong safety Will Hill, who the Giants believe to be better in coverage. Mundy never got his starting role back. “It’s really frustrating and disappointing,” Mundy told nj.com. “I was leading the team in tackles. I was productive. But at the same time, we still have a lot of games to play. This is bigger than me. We’re making a playoff push right now. I don’t want to be a distraction.” Now, Mundy is playing on special teams for the Giants. Though it’s not where he feels he Read More

Back On The Diamond Again

Hunter Dawson is adept at first base, a position he has played since he fell in love with baseball at age 5. He’s also solid as a relief pitcher coming out of the bullpen, a role he’s grown increasingly confident in the more Birmingham’s Spain Park High School baseball coach Will Smith calls on him. But the coach had something else in mind when filling out his line-up for the third and deciding game of the 2013 6A first-round playoff series against rival and then top-ranked Thompson High School. He looked beyond Dawson’s immediate skill set and asked the junior to do something he had not done all season. Smith, the head coach at Spain Park for the past 10 years, tapped Dawson as his starting pitcher for the pressure-cooker game. Though Dawson had only pitched in relief last year, Smith believed the righty was ready, confident his biting slider Read More

Devotional of the Week — Union in the Dugout

Baseball is a simple game. Throw strikes. See the ball and hit it. There are three outs, per team, per inning and nine innings in a game. Teams that play well together are usually successful.

Team unity is enhanced in the clubhouse by energetic leaders like Orlando “Cha-Cha” Cepeda, who led the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series in 1967 and 1968. It can also be augmented by quiet leaders like Carlos Beltran, who leads by consistent performance and is there to be an example and mentor to younger players… Continue reading

Uncommon Challenge