A lavish lifestyle, expensive cars, and fabulous estates are some of the luxuries that players in the NBA embrace. But many Christian athletes have vocally professed their faith and their conviction in God.
Follow us as we delve into these players who use their superstar status to spread the Gospel to the world.
What is Christianity?
Christianity is a religious belief based on the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ into this world as a human being to save humanity from the consequences of sin. Sin is terrible things that separate man from God – sin is death.
Christ was beaten, humiliated, whipped, crowned with thorns, and nailed to the cross, experiencing an agonizing physical and spiritual death. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice because He was the only sinless human who could pay for our sins. Jesus’s death saved us from death.
Jesus rose from the grave on the third day and ascended into heaven. Jesus’s resurrection defeated death. He lived and received God’s gift of eternal life.
Christians believe that following the teachings in the Bible and surrendering their life to Jesus Christ will give them eternal life.
What NBA Players are Christian?
There are many NBA players that are actually Christian, both current and retired, who lives according to the Bible’s teachings. These guys are not ashamed of their Christianity; they credit God when interviewed after a game and in their off-court activities.
Know some of these men who spread the love of Christ. Their devotion is genuine, and they have high regard for their faith, giving thanks to the Lord in whatever things come their way in their everyday life. Although they are Christians, they play hard, all in the spirit of fair play and within the rules of the NBA.
Current NBA Players that are Christian
1. LeBron James
King James was raised by a single mom and studied at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School, a Catholic school. It’s not often that LeBron revealed his religion, but when he did it was to thank the Greater Man upstairs.
The Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 Finals, and King James tweeted that it was not the time given by the Greater Man upstairs. When Cleveland won over the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, King James said that the man above doesn’t put you in trials you can’t deal with, referring to a 3-1 game deficit. When his teammate Rodney Stuckey had a court seizure, King James huddled with his teammates to pray to Jesus Christ for healing.
2. Stephen “Baby Face Assassin” Curry
The Baby Face Assassin is a four-time NBA Champion, one-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time NBA MVP, … and a Christian.
Curry is a practicing Christian who glorifies God and uses social media to discuss his conviction. When Kevin Durant was with the Warriors in 2016, he and Curry would attend chapel sessions offering their commitment and faith to Christ. The team’s faith was their secret weapon toward the 2022 NBA Championship.
In a league of money-making athletes and boasted egos, it’s nice to see a superstar like Step Curry in all humility openly expressing his faith in God. Curry’s favorite verse is Philippians 4:13. He, his wife Ayesha, and three kids, Riley, Ryan, and Canon, are engaged in charities to end child hunger and provide kids sports spaces.
Curry will be remembered as the best shooter in the NBA, and when he makes a trey, his fingers point up to thank God.
3. Kevin “KD” Durant
Growing up KD was religious, visiting the church frequently but dropped the practice when reaching high school.
When KD got into the league his former teammate, Kevin Ollie, helped him renew his faith. Ollie made KD comfortable dealing with his faith around people, praying from the heart, and praying for other people.
KD gets inspiration from the Bible to play his best. God’s words constantly remind him what the Lord had done for him and how to live his life for the Lord. When people say he is great, KD bows his head down to show humility.
KD wears a tattoo on his left wrist saying – Live for Eternity because God says that’s where we’re going. And he wears a baller on the same wrist saying – ibelieve, as a symbol of God’s love for him.
4. Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin is a power forward with the Boston Celtics. He packs a mean game and bully-balls his way to the hoop. Griffin’s grit in the post and skill in the air is a pleasure to watch since you don’t know what will happen next. Deep inside, Blake has a kind spirit who devoted his life to God.
His parents instilled Christian values while he was young. Blake joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes during college and relied on God to help him during rough times.
Griffin joined the 2009 NBA Rookie draft and was the first pick by Los Angeles Clippers. He injured his kneecap during the summer league, which required the whole season to recover. Since he didn’t play in 2009-10, Griffin was still considered a rookie in the 2010-11 season. During the season, Griffin lit up the stats sheets earning him Rookie of the Year and was an All-Star.
Looking back, Griffin considered his injury as God’s way of humbling him.
Retired NBA Players that are Christian
1. Jeremy Lin
After ten years in the NBA, playing for eight teams, Linsanity packed his bags and plays for the Guangzhou Loong Lions in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). Lin is very open and emotional when he expresses his faith in God.
2. Dwayne Wade
When Wade is asked about his faith, he’s quick to say Jesus is his Savior and that God helped him through his challenging moments. As a testament to his faith, Wade wears the number 3 on his jersey, which signifies the Holy Trinity, and gives 10 percent of his earnings as tithes to God.
3. Darren Collison
Darren Collison is a 10-year NBA veteran who played with six teams and retired from the league to focus on helping the less fortunate through the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious movement.
Wrapping Things Up: 7 NBA Players That are Actually Christian
Most of the NBA teams have a Christian-based devotion, but many players are less vocal than the Christian athletes we covered.
These guys are using their superstar status to spread the Word of God for the world to know Him better. They acknowledge that God gifted them with the athleticism to achieve success.
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.