Basketball - Jamaica
Aug 22, 2013
Our entire group is back in the United States, with many of the players beginning classes the morning after returning from Jamaica. Ouch! As a staff team, we are thankful for a group of young men who were focused on our mission and engaged until the final moment we were all together.
Here is what our time together looked like-- in a nutshell:
Training camp, alligator hunting, shared our "H's" (history, highlight, heartache, hope, hero) with each other, traveled to Kingston, had dinner with student leaders in Kingston, competed against two teams (three games) and won all three, hosted 2 post game dinners with the two teams in Kingston, our players and staff had endless one-on-one spiritual conversations between opposing players and coaching staffs during dinners, served at an orphanage, drank coconut water straight from the coconut, served at a shelter for young women from abusive situations, hosted a coaches clinic, hosted a kids basketball camp, share the Gospel countless times (in groups and one-on-one), shared the joy of one of our own players as he surrendered his life to Christ, traveled to Montego Bay, jumped off cliffs, played the national team (twice), had dinner with the national team, shared the Gospel one-on-one with national team players, swam in the ocean, shared with all incoming students at U-Tech... and the list goes on and on. So many memorable moments.
When asked their defining moments from this tour, here are some of the comments from the team:
“… when we were at church in Kingston, during praise and worship. I was being goofy when we walked in, but then worship started. I had never worshipped like that before. I have never raised my hands or cried in church. I was moved to do both for the first time at this church. A lot changed in me at that moment.”
“… when we were at the basketball camp for kids. They were standing there watching me shoot free throws and were so in awe. I was just shooting free throws! It opened my eyes to the chances we have to change people. Talents give us great opportunities to impact people and share the Gospel with them.”
“… when I went out to the pier and prayed out loud to God. I realized I was having an actual conversation with God. There was a storm, thunder and lightning… it was like He was responding to what I was saying to Him. It was one of the most spirit-filled moments of my life. It put me in my place, realizing how big and powerful God is.”
“… sitting here with you all tonight. I’ve been filled with sadness for three years. During this trip I have laughed again and been renewed. My confidence has been restored.”
“… before our last game, when Bobby and I had a short conversation, for 10 minutes or less. It changed my whole outlook on this Christian walk. It is easy to be in the mode of a spiritual high on a trip like this, but then go back home to the US and to the same sins. I can’t do this on my own. I have realized from some of these guys that I CAN change, with the help of the Holy Spirit.”
“… when Coach asked me why I do what I do. I wrestle with myself about my motives. I don’t want any agenda other than to grow with Jesus Christ and honor God. Galatians 1:10- For I am now seeking the favor of God. “
“… when I talked with Eric and he helped me understand my need for a personal relationship with Christ. I then surrendered my life to Christ and that is the defining moment of this experience for me.”
The Lord was so good to us. AMEN!
Aug 22, 2013
** apparently this didn't post the evening of the game. I apologize for the delay**
AIA Falls to Jamaican National Team in Overtime
In the final game of their 5-game series in Jamaica, Athletes in Action lost to the Jamaican National Team in overtime, 90-82, in Montego Bay.
After being down by 16 points entering half-time, Athletes in Action intensified their defensive efforts led by Jake Barnett (St. Louis University), holding their opponents to seven points in the third quarter. Athletes in Action took a one-point lead during the fourth quarter and had a chance to seal the victory after Patrick Ewing, Jr. fouled Anthony Gill (Virginia), and was assessed a technical foul. However, after an AIA missed free-throw and turnover, regulation ended in a tie at 76 points.
Jamaica took control early in overtime, and ended up beating Athletes in Action 90-82.
Leading the way for Athletes in Action was Anthony Gill with 23 points and 13 boards, followed by Jake Barnett (St. Louis University) and Raphael Akpejiori (Miami) with 12 each.
Aug 18, 2013
After a good day in beautiful Montego Bay Jamaica that included team time and a Bible study with a few of the Jamaican National Team players, we have just reached tip off of game 2. Updates to come!
Jamaica jumps to an early lead 11 - 5 lead with just over 7 minutes in the first quarter.
AIA time out with 5:26 to go in the first and Jamaica leading 15-11
Here's a look into what happened before the game!
27 - 19 Jamaica at the end of the first quarter
43-29 Jamaica AIA Time out with 2:25 before half.
Jamaica takes a 49-33 lead into the half.
51-41 Jamaica at the 6 minute mark.
AIA cuts the Jamaican lead to 53-48 with just over two minutes in the third period.
Jamaica takes a 56-50 lead into the 4th quarter. We are still in this folks!
The Jamaican National Anthem before tonights game.
AIA ties it at 60 with 6 minutes to play!
AIA goes up 63-62 with just under 5 to play!
Jamaica scores 5 straight to take a 67-63 lead with 3:33 to go.
Tied at 76 with 3 seconds left and Jamaicas ball!
We've got OT at 76
80-78 Jamaica with 3:24 to go in OT
82-80 Jamaica with 1:24
Too many and 1s and other fouls give Jamaica the win 90-82. Lots of respect on both sides! Please be praying for our time with the Jamaican team tonight!