Athlete Profiles:

Adam Wainwright

At 7:35 pm on channel 18, Adam Wainwright would sit down with his dinner in front of the television to admire his heroes from afar. He was a boy with big dreams. Originally from Georgia, Wainwright grew up adoring the Atlanta Braves; his dream was to play for them. That dream became a reality.

He slowly but steadily made his way up in the sports world. When he was traded to the Cardinals for the 2004 season, he suffered setbacks that forced him to prove his worthiness on the mound. But Wainwright realized his true worth at a Professional Athlete Outreach conference. It was at that conference that he felt challenged and responded to the invitation.

Beginning that day, Wainwright began to see God's hand at work in his life. He got married, had a daughter, and has earned a prominent position in baseball. From playing ball as a child with friends to throwing the pitch that won the Series, Wainwright is still able to keep things in perspective. "I want to be known as the guy who lives the life of a Christian husband, father, and player," he says. He's living his dream, but now with a Godly focus.

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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?

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