The way you talk to your teammates and push them and the way you treat them is important. There is a fine line between trying to help your teammates and criticizing them. The toughest part for me is how to keep my teammates accountable but at the same time do it in a loving way that doesnt judge or condemn them. It's definitely been a struggle and I'm trying to learn how to lead consciously in a way that honors God.
I grew up in the church, and I always kind of knew Bible stories and knew the Sunday school answers, but when I was a freshman in high school I joined youth group, and that's when I started to see radical love; that's when I started to see what Christian community is supposed to look like and what fellowship is supposed to look like.
I think one of the most rewarding experiences in life is to see people come to Christ and make lifestyle changes. When that happens, you definitely see God behind it. This year we've seen eight students make first-time decisions for Christ and when I see that, it's a great feeling. I'm really thankful that God is changing somebody, or sometimes he's changing me.
I had to learn how to give my best effort to God and trust him with the results. I have to learn to have enough faith to trust in his grace and to trust in his sovereign and perfect plan. I had to submit my will, my desires, my dreams "" give it all up to God and say, "Look, I am going to give my best effort, go on the court and play every day for you, and I'm going to let you take care of the rest.
I've learned how to be open and bold about my faith, but in terms of my influence, I just try to lead in a godly way. What that means for me is to serve them, whether it's just doing the dirty work, like cleaning up sweat on the floor, or deferring to other people, or carrying equipment bags.
God loves me, and that he has the perfect plan for me. His plan will take me through a lots of ups and downs, but if I stay faithful to him that in the end he will work everything for my good. Now when I play basketball, I don't play for anyone else, I only play for God. That's the type of purpose that he gave me, and once he gave me that purpose, is when I found my peace, and once I got my peace, that's when I got my joy.
There is so much temptation to hold on to my career even more now. To try to micromanage and dictate every little aspect. But that's not how I want to do things anymore. I'm thinking about how can I trust God more. How can I surrender more? How can I bring him more glory? It's a fight. But it's one I'm going to keep fighting.
With all the media attention, all the love from the fans, I felt I needed to prove myself. Prove that I'm not a marketing tool, I'm not a ploy to improve attendance. Prove I can play in this league. But I've surrendered that to God. I'm not in a battle with what everybody else thinks anymore.
I was shocked cause I didn't even know that they made my jersey. I didn't know that they made it so fast, so when I saw it I was like, I had to look three times and I was like, 'Did they customize that?' And then I saw a couple of other ones and I was like, ok, they must've made them overnight or something.