Athlete Profiles:

Marvin Williams

Marvin Williams, selected No. 2 overall by the Atlanta Hawks in July's NBA draft, has never talked a big game. Whether dominating local courts as a point-forward for the Knights of Bremerton High, or helping the North Carolina Tar Heels to a national championship this past March, the 6-foot-9 athlete has deferred credit for his successes and downplayed his eye-popping talent. From the pews of his home church, Williams spent every Sunday of his childhood absorbing the traits of true greatness-diligence, honesty, respect.

Williams' faith has not wilted under the heat of a glaring spotlight thus far, as a strong strand of faith running through North Carolina's basketball program helped mitigate potential temptations. "Guys like Jawad (Williams) and Melvin (Scott) would take Quentin (Thomas) and me to church whenever we had a free Sunday, if we didn't play or if we were in town," Williams said.

Williams' mother Andrea Gittens will continue to live in Bremerton. Williams will visit often- the opportunity to se a public example never precluding his need to set a private one. "Somebody's always going to be looking at you, so you can always affect somebody's life whether it's just being nice to somebody or helping somebody out," Williams says.

Find Profiles

First Name By Letter

Or By Name

Tim Tebow

As the current quarterbacks for the last two national championship teams, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow have taken center stage in two of the most intensely scrutinized college football programs in America. Even as sophomores, this concept is not lost on McCoy and Tebow. They know they are being watched. They also know that with the immediate access they have to so many people, the opportunities to be a model and a spokesperson for Jesus Christ are preeminent. "In some places it's not the cool thing to do or the popular thing to be and God is not No. 1," says McCoy.

Tebow and McCoy were both hatched from close-knit, deeply Christian upbringings that saw them come to faith at an early age. Tim Tebow's fater, Bob Tebow, heads the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association, which claims to be the conduit of close to 9 million people coming to faith in Christ in the last 8 years.

An NFL career is a goal for both of these young quarterbacks, but they are realistic enough to know there are no guarantees. McCoy looks forward to what God has in store. "God willing, I'd like to be in the NFL, but the important thing to do is His will."

Shaun Alexander

Whether Shaun Alexander spends his Sunday morning wearing a football jersey on a field or a suit in a pew, he's the same guy. "Shaun is a Christian 24/7," says close friend and teammate Mack Strong. "He's a great example. It's a testimony to him, to God."

Alexander has made a lasting name for himself in the NFL. The accomplishments and praises he's received are only dreams for many. He's not surprised by his success; he's always set lofty goals and worked hard. Now he's a household name, but he says, "This is no time to say, 'Look at me.'" That's because, for Alexander, it's not just about football. "I play football to make a difference in people's lives."

The difference he wants to make is a difference for Christ. He has a heart for providing hope, especially for youth, and giving to others as unto the Lord. That's the purpose of his foundation and the community center he started with his brother. "You can't outgive God," he says.

The best day in his life? Being valedictorian of his graduating class? Setting NFL records? Becoming 2005 MVP? No. "It was the first time I led someone to Christ," says Alexander. What else would we expect?

Uncommon Challenge