He is the current head coach of the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team. He played for 12 teams in the NBA for 13 seasons from 1997 to 2010. His teams included the Dallas Mavericks, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 2012, he was named the head basketball coach at Connecticut, replacing longtime hall of fame coach Jim Calhoun. In 2014, he led the Huskies to defeat top-ranked Florida in the First Final Four national semifinal of the NCAA Tournament. They went on to beat the Kentucky Wildcats in the championship game that same year for Connecticut’s fourth NCAA men’s championship in fifteen years.
In an article for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he said of his faith:
“Los Angeles has so many potential distractions and pitfalls for young kids growing up there. But, in my own life, because God had blessed me with a solid faith in Him through the instruction of my mother, I was able to avoid most of them. Like some of us do, though, I strayed from the Lord and did my own thing once I got out of the house and went to college. After finishing at the University of Connecticut and playing a few years in the Continental Basketball Association, I rededicated my life to the Lord. It was in 1996 after my wife and I welcomed our first son, Jalen. I was experiencing so much change in hoping for a call up and caring for a new baby. It was a trying time, but God got me through and helped me focus on what I needed to do, which was serve Him above everything else and seek His Kingdom.
“The following year I signed as a rookie with the Dallas Mavericks. The NBA was a completely new world for me, but thankfully, I was on a team with A.C. Green. He was a veteran guy widely known for his faith, and he made it cool to be a God-follower. He would host chapel in his room before every game, and that time became something I loved and leaned on. Coming into the league, I had been so attracted to all of the worldly things, but A.C. made sure that God was the only thing I was attracted to. He explained to me that I had to take time for God and not follow the crowd. It was great to have someone of his stature and faith in my corner, and I stayed under his wing. I really owe him a lot for giving me that foundation and letting me know that it was cool to love Christ and play basketball.
“Overall, my career has included time with 11 different teams in 13 years. Sometimes I’ve asked God why I couldn’t just stay on one team, but, as I look back on it, I’m glad God took me that way because I learned how to depend on Him. When I was weak, He made me strong. I learned to understand more about unconditional love. When you’re in those valleys, He is right there with you. He has been a great God to me—my Rock and my Support. When I would get cut from a team or told I wasn’t good enough, God never cut me. He never said I wasn’t good enough.
“God has given me the gift of playing basketball, and I have to be a good steward of this platform. It is my calling, but it’s not just about basketball. I can be a basketball player and a God-fearing man, and that’s what I want people to see. Basketball has given me wonderful opportunities, but, if it wasn’t for Jesus dying on the cross for me, I wouldn’t have had any of them.
“I just want to continue to do things that allow me to be in front of people and share my testimony and the gifts God has given me. I know that He already has a purpose and a vision for me, and I want to be prepared for that. When He calls, I will come running. Personally, I am on a crusade to lift Him up in everything I do. People have to see Christ in us, and I am trying to emphasize that with all of the people I meet. In the end, I want them to see me as an example of God—not only a role model, but a God model.”
His name is Kevin Ollie.
This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Kevin Ollie gave his life to Christ, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer:
Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!