Pistons star enters courts with praise

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The eyes of the basketball world were on Jaden Ivey, with the TV cameras and reporters poised after his 34-point display for the Detroit Pistons.

The 22-year-old guard (pictured above) had almost single-handedly defeated the Brooklyn Nets. 

But, instead of a self-glorifying response to questions or gratitude for his teammates, Ivey repeatedly praised someone else: “I give all the glory to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for giving me these gifts.” 

That was just one profession of love for his saviour during a press conference peppered with even more praise than his game garnered points.

The 6ft 4in NBA star repeatedly referenced his Christian faith and his joy at the sporting chance to “glorify him in heaven”.

He told the media: “I sow the seed every day and just continue to trust God to grow my game.”

His parting press conference shot was an almighty ‘three-pointer’ from John 14:6: “I just want to say that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life. 

“And to any of the world that’s hearing this message, the kingdom of heaven is near.

“Jesus is coming back, and we all have to repent for our sins. We have to put our faith in Jesus.”

Ivey added: “He will come back when you least expect it. It’s time to wake up if you haven’t put your faith in Jesus Christ.” 

He’s spoken of his Christianity publicly before, stating in 2022, before he turned professional, that he could “only thank God for all the blessings that I have and that I still have yet to receive”. He added then that he was taking things “day by day, just trying to get better, staying patient with God’s plan”.

Such a faith-filled approach worked, with Ivey turning pro the same year.

He played 74 times in that debut season, averaging more than 16 points per game. This term, he’s already beaten the 34-point masterclass that had those cameras pointing at him by amassing 37 points against the Sacramento Kings.

His court skills and his beliefs should perhaps be of little surprise, given that his mum, Niele, is a basketball coach and Christian.

She has also been vocal about her faith during a career at Notre Dame, where she is head women’s coach after playing five seasons for the club in the WNBA.

She posted on Instagram: “With all the highs and lows in coaching, I trust and believe that God has something amazing in store for me, my family, and my team!

“I will continue to work hard, continue to believe in something bigger and continue to have faith in my journey. I feel such gratitude for God’s favor”.

From New Life Newspaper issue 354

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