The best Christian basketball players in the NBA maintain their spirituality and faith despite the temptations of the bright lights of professional sports. Here are the top ten NBA players who are not afraid to share their beliefs with the world.
- Dwight Howard The most outspoken Christian athlete in the NBA averaged 17.5 points-per-game and 12.7 rebounds in his five years as a pro. He was the fifth player in the history of the NBA to lead the league in blocking and rebounding in 2008/09. The Magic have won three division titles since he joined the team.
- Chris Paul Chris Paul grew up in the church, attending services every Sunday and admits to being very devout in his Christianity. He has remained strong in the public eye thanks to both his strong play (19.3 points-per-game, ten assists-per-game) and his work in the community. He is a three-time All-Star and helped lead New Orleans into round two of the 2008 NBA Playoffs. He remains the Hornets’ best basketball player.
- Elton Brand Elton Brand was raised by a single mother and grew up in an environment placing an importance on church. Considered one of the nicest players in the NBA, Brand has become an NBA star despite having played for the Los Angeles Clippers. He currently plays for Philadelphia and his career averages heading into the 2010 season are 19.3 PPG and 9.7 RBG.
- Michael Redd Michael Redd immediately gave back when he reached the NBA. With his first big contract to play basketball, he bought his father a church. He has said his biggest dream was to play in the NBA but his second dream was to become a preacher. He reached his first dream and helped his father achieve the second. In the first ten years of his career, Redd averaged 20.3 PPG.
- Caron Butler Caron Butler used religion and basketball to turn his life around. As a young child, he sold drugs and later served time in prison. While locked away in solitary confinement, Butler decided he needed to change. He began to read Bible verses his grandmother sent him and when released, he began to play basketball. In his first nine NBA seasons, Butler averaged six rebounds and 16.6 PPG.
- Chris Kaman Chris Kaman is an outspoken Christian and gives credit to God for all his success in the NBA. He admits to praying on a regular basis and believes God has a plan for him. In his seven-year career at the Clippers, Kaman has averaged 11.7 PPG with 8.4 rebounds.
- Derek Fisher When Derek Fisher was a child, church and Bible studies were a way of life. While in college, he was a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Over his fourteen-year career, he has averaged 9.0 PPG and won five championship rings.
- Anthony Parker Anthony Parker runs an FCA camp where he shares his faith with the kids in attendance. The New Jersey Nets originally drafted Parker and, after a couple of injury plagued seasons, he left for Europe where he played for six years. He finally returned to the NBA in 2006 and played for both Toronto and Cleveland where he has averaged 9.5 PPG.
- Luke Ridnour Luke Ridnour credits his faith for helping him get through the struggles of his NBA career. Ridnour is a seven-year veteran who has played for both Seattle and Milwaukee. Along the way, he averaged 9.4 PPG and 4.8 APG.
- Kyle Korver Korver comes from a family that focused on both basketball and religion. His parents are former players as are four of his uncles and two of his brothers. His father, grandfather and two of his uncles are also ministers of the Reformed Church in America. Korver played for Philadelphia and Utah where he averaged 9.9 PPG. He signed with the Chicago Bulls in July 2010.
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
15 Shirts Women Simply Can’t Resist—and Why
From Ts to button-downs and beyond, these must-haves will get her everlovin’ attention.
As Boogie Nights Turns 20, Here’s What You Didn’t Kno...
Fun facts about Paul Thomas Anderson, Dirk Diggler, Rollergirl and more.
19 Men’s Grooming Gaffes That Totally Turn Women Off
And what to do about them.