Lasting memories often have the ability to stick in our minds beyond what we can foresee, especially when we begin to think about the future and what our most memorable moments might be as we grow older.
However, having the tenacity to know when to move forward and when to simply appreciate the simple beginnings we have in life is vital to living a life of significance.
This can be said about Grayson Boucher, also known as “The Professor”, a simple eighteen-year-old kid from Oregon in the United States that ended up becoming a high-school sensation on the basketball court, eventually being featured on the And1 MixTape Tour and in several high-profile sports channels, such as ESPN. Recently, his fame has increased thanks to YouTube, where he has garnered millions of views and a steadily increasing fan base.
However, what many people may not know about Grayson is that he is a devoted Christian, and despite often being in the spotlight, is very humble about his upbringing and his basketball prowess.
Grayson Boucher – Australian link
I had the opportunity of conversing with Grayson recently, and he mentioned that even when he first started his professional career as a basketball player, he knew it was a blessing. “There were small amounts of time here and there when I wanted to quit, but making every attempt to show humility, it’s all rooted in Jesus’ teaching, which is loving God and treating people as I would like to be treated”, he said.
Having an ability to gain attention on and off the court, especially his recent sponsorship by Google and his presence in the media, including cover stories by Sports Illustrated, makes it difficult to stay humble. Yet Grayson has found a way to stay humble. As he says, “these days, I handle the fame by embracing the fans and showing them as much love as possible”. His faith has made it possible for him to become a role model to many youth across the States, and also, across the world.
Amazingly, Grayson credits Australia as a pivotal place which helped his international career take off. It was during his first tour overseas with the And1 professional basketball team where he was able to lead plays across the court, and essentially, this became a game-changer in his style of play and his ability to inspire others across the globe.
Thinking about “game-changer” moments in my own life, I often recall moments where there were ‘chance encounters’ with a friend or mentor when they inspired me to simply be myself, or challenged me to do something different. Perhaps these encounters could be better described as divine appointments, whether or not I chose to acknowledge them during that point in time, but nevertheless shaped the course of my life into who I am today.
One such moment I recall, funnily enough, was when I was playing at a large basketball event on the Sunshine Coast, and was only able to score two points the entire game. Later on that day, as I walked down by the beachside, I felt like an utter failure. It seemed that my poor performance on the court had a deep effect on me, and I began to think of all the times in life I had failed miserably, and my thoughts continued to bubble to the surface of my conscience just like the waves that continuously rolled onto the beach in front of me.
Yet, I seemed to hear a voice behind me that reminded me that my past could never have a hold on my potential as God’s child. I realised my future was an open book, just waiting to be written. I finally understood that what seemed like insignificant memories were actually prompting me to a future that was full of possibilities. And in that moment, I found hope.
It seems we all have times in our lives that seem to make or break us, but our definition of significance goes beyond a familiar memory or an overbearing failure. What makes our life worth winning is that the prize we ultimately win in life is not the approval of others, but the acknowledgement that we are God’s creation, and that He looks at us and our lives and considers us worthy.
Joseph Kolapudi is a third-culture-kid born in Australia to Indian parents, Joseph returned from California where he was studying theology at Fuller, and is now working with a missions agency, continuing his love of writing by contributing to PSI.
Joseph Kolapudi's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/joseph-kolapudi.html