Post-game Prayer Sheds Light on Strength of Basketball Program

Walk into the Comet boys locker room and the first thing you’ll see is Bibles laying on the benches facing the the whiteboard. Pages are dogeared in Proverbs. The team reads a chapter a day as a part of practice. The result of these habits was forefront in an away game against Underwood this week.

Before the Comets took to the court Coach Preston gave an impassioned speech. “Today is a gift!” he started. His voice was stern and direct. Players were leaning forward, peering up at their coach who went on to implore his team to see Basketball as a life-giving opportunity. “We have a chance to share the good news of Jesus tonight,” he continued. He framed the game of basketball around purpose and intensity, saying that how we play can cause people to see the difference in playing for God.

This pregame pep-talk was echoed against a hard week for the Comets. Losses one week earlier had their coach calling them to lift up their heads and remain unified, so that the world would know their hope that lies in Jesus. The Comets used the past week of practice to hone skills and correct habits on the court, all under the backdrop of Bible study in the locker room and prayer each night before they part from the gym.

After the Comets earned a twenty-point victory over the Rockets on Friday, their locker room prayer was unique. They prayed for a player who was sore. They celebrated success another had on the court. They thanked God for the opportunity to play together. And then, something unique came from the coaches as they broke the team down in prayer. They prayed for America.

With hands laid on sore shoulders from a night of Basketball the team prayed for a “a difficult time in our country.” They prayed for the state of New York, who recently passed a new bill opening abortion options to mothers to the time of delivery. They prayed for the state of Virginia, whose governor recently described how a new bill in their state would open options of infanticide to mothers. The Comet basketball team paused in their celebration prayer on their win to pray for the unborn.

There is strength in the Basketball program that extends beyond the wins and loss column. Locker room prayers and conversations are directing young men to consider their world, using basketball as a tool to build habits of doing the little things with precision and intentionality. These habits are forging character that engages conflict, pushing young men to impact the game with their play and unity. It is under the lights of the gym that the Comet men are displaying a strength that will tarry after the final buzzer, when they start careers, enter the voting booth, and lead their churches. These post-game prayers shed only a dim light onto the strength the Comet team is building in caring for their neighbor as they’re inspired by the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Wayne StenderComment