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

Crushing It

It sounds preposterous now—kind of like an era when carbs weren’t counted, phones weren’t smart and people didn’t tweet—but there was a time when Chris Davis considered quitting baseball.

Davis, the Baltimore Orioles’ newly minted superstar, was fed up with the game by 2011. His promising major league debut with the Texas Rangers three years earlier at age 22 was a distant memory. A logjam of talent within the organization and his own inconsistencies at the plate… Continue reading

From Puppet to Platform

Dylan Thompson had strings.

He moved the right way. He said the right things. He danced across the stage and nailed his lines. He was a shell of a man, a marionette that moved but had no life inside.

One day, the strings broke, his body fell, and he lay all twisted up and lifeless on stage.

The lights went down. And the curtains closed… Continue reading

Taking Flight

Jason Avant is used to dodging defenders as a receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles. But before he made it to the NFL he had to literally dodge bullets.

Twice he was cornered by rival gangs as a youngster growing up in Chicago. And the house he lived in was shot up numerous times. His mother left him as a toddler and his dad was in and out of prison. But the former Gangster Disciple is now a disciple of Christ and has developed into one of the Eagles’ steadiest receivers… Continue reading

NFL Closeup — Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson, one of the top rookies in the NFL last season while guiding the Seattle Seahawks to the second round of the playoffs, had Seattle off to a fast start again this season and dreams of making another postseason appearance. Last season, Wilson passed for 3,118 yards and tied Peyton Manning’s NFL rookie record with 26 touchdown passes in the regular season, before passing for an NFL rookie playoff record 385 yards in a 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons and earning a spot in the Pro Bowl. But Wilson, who became a Christian when he was 14, isn’t all about football. He is known for his strong faith and uses his popularity to point people to Christ by tweeting Bible verses to more than 380,000 of his Twitter followers. “You have to stand for something and (God) has given me this tremendous platform,” said Wilson, while speaking at Read More

Rushing Past Problems

On the surface, Herschel Walker seemingly had it all. As a Heisman trophy winner, as a NFL running back for 12 years and as the second greatest rated college running back ever, he had fame. As an All-Pro selection that the Dallas Cowboys once traded to Minnesota for five players and six first-round draft picks, he had wealth. And he had the megawatt smile that said all was right with his world. But Walker didn’t have what he wanted most – peace. “I was messed up,” he said. “I was all screwed up.” No one knew. The perpetual overachiever who was driven by childhood demons of being a stutterer and overweight—“Everyone picked on me” he says—spent his life proving himself. Then when his NFL days were done in 1997, his release and escape were taken from him. A couple of years after his last NFL game, Walker, in a burst Read More

Humbled to Play

Eddie Perez was watching a television in a room off the Atlanta bullpen when he heard a knock on the door. The Braves coach knew it was the home run ball he had just seen burst off the bat of a hometown prodigy taking his first swing in the big leagues. “When we were watching in there, we got excited and we hear pop!” says Perez, who sensed more than the usual fan celebration at Turner Field. “Everybody was going crazy. It was like the birth of a new star… Continue reading

Uncommon Challenge