A Winner’s Witness!

A Winner’s Witness!

Women’s college basketball reached new heights of popularity during the recent NCAA tournament. The final game had a TV viewing audience of 24 million, and an average of 18.7 million viewers. That is the most viewers ever to watch basketball at any level, according to Nielsen. It was the second most watched non-Olympic sporting event on US television since women’s soccer beat Japan in 2019.

Coach Dawn Staley of the South Carolina Gamecocks played a big part in that growth in popularity. This was her third national championship in seven years. She has only lost one game in two years.

But I admire her, not only because of the accomplishments of her well-coached team, but because of her boldness in expressing her Christian faith. She prepares a devotional for her team members. They pray together and she shares her faith. She is very vocal in all of her interviews about her strong faith. For her, winning girls to faith is as important as winning games for fans.

The Freedom From Religious Foundation has gone to court to try to stop her. In my eyes, that’s a compliment to her faith! The issue was a statement she made on March 31, 2024. She was questioned about how she handled the one loss last year. She said, “I am a believer because God makes things come true. When you’re at your worst, He’s at His best.”

The University of South Carolina president, Michael Amiridis, received a letter from FFRF alleging, “Since we first brought this issue to the University’s attention, Coach Staley has only ramped up her use of religious rhetoric in official communications through her role as a university employee. She has also continued her practice of preparing gameday devotionals for players and sharing chosen Bible verses on her social media pages as Head Coach of South Carolina’s Women’s Basketball.”

While I might not agree with Coach Staley on all issues, I applaud her on what she’s doing. I pray that God will increase her boldness, her witness, and raise up many more like her!

She is also a class lady. She is always complimentary of the opposing teams and their players. She doesn’t try to take credit for all the big things she has done. While her team won the championship and were a huge part of the increase in TV viewers, she very humbly gave credit to a superstar, Caitlin Clark, as contributing the most. Coach Staley said that Clark had, “carried the biggest load in accordance with that success.”

While we need more coaches like Dawn Staley, we also need more businesspeople, politicians, young people, moms and dads, and teachers—we need more people like her in every section of society. Are you willing to be one of those? It’s one thing to admire and praise her–it’s more important to do what she does!

Jesus said, “Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will confess him before my Father.” (Matthew 10:32) He also said, “When I am lifted up, I will draw all people to my Father.” (John 12:32)

A Christian coach is telling the world about her faith, and refusing to bow to pressure from those who would oppose her expression of her Christian faith. Thank you Lord!

What is your witness?

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