Basketball: 3 Tall Men, 2 Kings, 1 God

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Growing up, I realized that I was growing taller than my mates and was always made to stand at the back of the class during morning assembly. Occasionally the height advantage felt good as a child but more often than not, towering over my peers brought with it unnecessary attention from teachers who were always looking for a scapegoat? My height was an enemy.

Then I got older and I grew taller and taller and taller. Currently standing at 6ft 4in tall, I have stopped growing now (I think) and apart from getting those “I don’t want to stand next to him” stares I get when group photographs were being taken, nothing annoyed me more about my height than being constantly asked “why don’t you play basketball?”

As a kid I was never interested in the sports called basketball. Soccer was my cup of tea. I dream soccer. I eat soccer. I lived soccer. I even played soccer once with a broken hand. Soccer was my all. But that didn’t stop the “why don’t you play basketball?” questions from coming. Of course I am tall and it was expected.

I thought about developing an interest in “the beautiful game” as basketball is often referred to and maybe “not waste my height” as people kept saying.

Then the unexpected happened.

I should have been maybe 14 years old or so when the boys in my hostel were invited to play basketball at a court close to school. I had never played the game before but my height got me the “lead role” and I flunked. Badly. That wasn’t even sad part, to rub salt into the wound, a senior in school disappointed with my display said and I quote “bush boy, you can’t even play basketball”.

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So being the youngest goalkeeper to make the Senior team and also being one of the fastest track and field athletes in my age bracket wasn’t enough but since I couldn’t play America’s game, I was a bush/local boy?

I never step foot in a basketball court again. The hate for the sports had reached a climax and there was nothing that was gonna change that.

Then came a hero!!!!!

A King in his own right.

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He came, swept me off my feet and made me fall in love with a sports I should have played (height wise).

The King was LeBron James.

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It’s being over half a decade since my hatred for the sports was diluted by this one human being.

Just when I was getting a little comfortable with the idea of liking basketball, Steph Curry came along and blew me out of the water.

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He made me love the game if not for anything but for his love for God. Being a devout Christian, a Jesus loving husband and father, Curry has my favorite scripture Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” —and Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ that strenghtens you”—on his game shoes.

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Steph once explained how his faith has been his driving force. He said “I’ve always been a believer that the Lord has put whatever talent in you, [and] whatever gift He has put in you, He wants you to get the most out of that. He wants you to succeed; He wants you to pursue and work and be passionate about it,” Curry says. “It’s not about getting any of the glory for yourself; it’s all for His [glory]. That’s where you have to keep perspective. Work at it and do all you can so you get the most out of yourself, but do it for His will.”

What a man!!!!

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Soccer still has my heart but basketball is gaining a large stride but God will always reign supreme.

Stand tall, give God pre-eminence in everything you do, always study the Bible (King James) and watch God sprinkle curry into your life (no pun intended).

Remember, you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you. Philippians 4:13

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Did I use sports to talk to you about Jesus? Yes I just did. God bless you.

 

 

 

I Dare You Not To Cry For 2015

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The year 2015 is almost over but I would be an ungrateful fool not to give Glory to who Glory is due. It has been an amazing year, if not for anything but for the fact that I am alive to type this message to you. It has been a year of untimely deaths, a year of ISIS strikes, a year of Boko Haram killings, a year of political assassinations, a year of ghastly accidents on the road, on air and even on sea. The year a dear friend passed on after a long battle with Sickle Cell Anaemia aged just 24, the same year many BBM contacts put up pictures of beloved friends and family members who passed on. This is the same year a Gubernatorial candidate of a state in Nigeria died just as he was about to be declared winner of the election he contested. In all, you and I are still alive not because we are the holiest lot, or because we are better than those that died, but just because God’s grace and mercy has stood by us through thick and thin.

We might not be where we desired at the state of the year but my brothers and sisters only those that have breathe can make plans for the future. I want you to sit back and count your blessings one by one. For those that graduated this year, count your blessings (for if you read the news, you would have seen stories of undergraduates who cultists, sickness or police brutality killed). For those who entered service or finished service, count your blessings (for many corpers gave up the ghost during their service year). For those that got married, count your blessings (a young woman due to get married the following week died in the Paris attacks). For those that are seeking employment, count your blessings (I am sure you are aware that dead people don’t look for jobs).

In ALL things my people, give thanks. For the Christians amongst us, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “In all things give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” For the Muslims, Quran 39:66 (Khan translation) says “worship Allah (Alone and none else), and be among the grateful”. Both scriptures didn’t specify the conditions to which we should be grateful. It didn’t say we should be grateful only when things are going well for us, or only when we have good jobs, or only when we achieve our heart desires. The Bible scripture specifically said, “in ALL things, give thanks”. All means no exceptions my brother and sister.

I don’t know about you but I have looked back at this year and its another proof that God exists (for those doubting) and no song encapsulates my gratitude to God that Sinach’s song “Great Art You Lord”. Below are the lyrics of the song:

 

Holy Holy, God almighty
It’s a privilege to worship You
Maker of all universe
It’s an honour just to stand before You

With a grateful heart I lift my hands to You
Proclaiming Lord You reign
With a grateful heart I lift my hands to You
Proclaiming Lord You reign

Great are You lord
Greatly to be praised
Greatly to be praised
Father You reign

Great are You Lord
Great are You Lord
Great are You Lord
Great are You Lord

I dare you to enter a secret place, don’t even kneel down, just sit on your bed or on a chair, put your earphones in your ears, close your eyes and listen to this song while counting the blessings of 2015 and see if tears won’t flow down your eyes. I tried it and I can’t keep a dry face and I dare you to try it and mean it. Click HERE to download the song and click HERE to download the video. God is GOOD people, see you in 2016.