He is a professional basketball player who currently plays as point guard for the Orlando Magic of the NBA. He played college basketball at the University of Oregon, where he helped to take the Ducks to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament twice. He was picked 14th in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. He has played for the Milwaukee Bucks, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Charlotte Bobcats.
He said of his faith, “2 Corinthians 4:18 says, ‘So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.’ After spending the first part of my life thinking basketball was the be-all, end-all of my existence, this verse finally put things into perspective. Throughout high school, basketball was my life. I didn’t want to be known for anything other than my accomplishments on the court. But even though I was blessed with many achievements and rewards, I still didn’t have peace. The problem was, basketball was just a game; but I was treating it like it was a god. It wasn’t until college that I was finally able to see this clearly. As much as I enjoyed the game, there was no way basketball could ever give me the lasting sense of fulfillment and meaning I craved. The only one who could provide those things was God. That truth has become even more real to me since entering the NBA. Even though I now have more success, fame, and money than I ever dreamed, my relationship with God is the only thing that brings me true peace and satisfaction.”
He is a former NFL football player and an actor. He played professional football from 1991 to 1997. After being drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, he went on to play for the San Diego Chargers, the Washington Redskins, and the Philadelphia Eagles. After retiring, he focused on an acting career. He is best known for playing Julius on the sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris” and for his appearances in commercials for Old Spice. His film credits include: “Friday After Next”, “Soul Plane”, “White Chicks”, and “The Expendables”. He and his family starred in the BET reality series “The Family Crews”. He also stars on the Golden Globe Award–winning Fox sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”. He has been married to a former model and Christian musician for nearly 25 years and they have five children.
He is a devout Christian who refers to himself as a “servant to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” He grew up in a strict Christian household, where he was raised primarily by his mother. He attributes his dedication to his family life and his Christian faith to his upbringing in Flint, Michigan. In an interview with MLive.com, he said, “Going to church with [my] family helped me to learn about the faith, and I feel that [my] own success and safety illustrate its validity.” He went on to say, “There were times I’ll be running down the (football) field, I’ll see a guy right next to me, and he’s just laid out. His knee gets blown out. … When you grow up in Flint, that event you were going to go to, you find out your friend got shot at that event. You think, ‘Wow, maybe God is looking after me.’ … That’s one reason I knew I’d reach some measure of fame, just because I always felt a call [of God]. I’m being protected.”
He is a writer and movie director. He is best known for the films, “Grace Unplugged”, “No Greater Love”, and “It Really Happened: The Flight of the Apollo 11″. He is staff writer/director and vice president of production for Coram Deo Studios, Inc.
In an interview with MOVIEGUIDE, he spoke of how he came to Jesus Christ and why he makes movies that glorify God. He said of his faith journey, “I was in my early to mid-20s. I’m of Jewish background. A dear friend just started dialoguing with me about, really at that time, the Jewish roots of the Scriptures, which, ironically, was very foreign to me. I really didn’t know the origins of the Scriptures were of such Jewish influence. Over the next three, four years, as our friendship grew, the Lord just broke me. Or I should say this: He allowed me to sort of achieve the effects of me running the show, and I just ran myself right into a brick wall. So, I came to faith in Christ, and just walked away from the entertainment industry for about a decade. My career was actually just starting to go somewhere as a writer/director and I walked away for about a decade. I wanted to go into full time ministry, and thought that’s where the Lord was taking me until about four or five years ago, when I felt Him calling me to start making movies again.”
When asked how God sustained him once he returned to the film industry, he said, “When I got back into the film business, I had nothing to lose. If you told me today, ‘You can never make movies again’ if it meant compromising what I believe to be honoring to God, the answer is no. I walk away. So we did a film a few years back, and then did “Grace Unplugged”, and it was sort of like I’d rather not make movies than make movies that I feel dishonor God and the Scriptures.”
He went further to say, “If I may speak boldly, [the Bible says] ‘seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and then all the other things will come.’ You can edit this out if you don’t like it, but my priority is the Lord, and everything transfers from that. Everything stems from that, and that’s my focus. I’m not ashamed of the Gospel, and I know that that may limit certain opportunities I have, but so be it. I just have to be true to who I am and who the Lord has made me to be.”
She is a singer, songwriter, and actress. As an original member of Destiny’s Child, she won two Grammy Awards with the group and sold over 25 million records as a vocalist on the group’s first two albums. She went solo in 2006 and debuted “LeToya” which topped the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart in July 2006, and was certified platinum by the RIAA in December 2006. In 2009, she released her second solo album “Lady Love” to great success. As an actress, she starred in “Preacher’s Kid”, “Killers”, “From the Rough”, and “Drumline: A New Beat”. Her television roles include HBO’s “Treme” and VH1’s “Single Ladies.”
In an interview with Essence Magazine, she shared how her upbringing as the daughter of a minister and her faith in God guides her in life. When asked to describe her relationship with God, she said, “I am definitely a woman of faith. My prayer life and my connection with God are on the highest level. I definitely would not be standing here doing what I do were it not for that. It is my only way of survival. My father was a minister so I was raised in the church. I guess I’m a lucky girl because I’ve always been taught, since I was a little girl, this is who you count on. This is who you lean on. It is my foundation.”
When asked how her faith has helped her in her day to day life, she said, “Things just started happening even without asking. I just let him lead with every single thing. I don’t get in the way. A lot of times we get in His way; we get in our own way, and it ends up taking us in the wrong direction. This would be a boring world if we all made the same decisions and all were doing the same thing. The beauty of this whole thing is God has carved out a different story, a different path for all of us. It’s up to us to connect to Him and follow it.”
She went further to talk about the importance of prayer by saying, “I know how to fall on my knees, even when I’m having hard days. I know how to go in a corner and just talk to my Daddy (God). Me and my sister and my best friend get on the phone every morning and pray about different things. Even if we can’t talk, because both of them have kids and I’m on the road, we shoot each other texts. “What can I pray for you today?” It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you have women of God praying for you. There’s nothing like that.”
She is a former model, actress, author, and speaker. She is perhaps best known for playing the role of Michelle Thomas on the popular TV show, “Matlock” in the 1980s. From 1995 to 2005, she hosted a show about fashion and beauty called “Main Floor.” Her other film credits include: “Moment of Truth”, “Christmas with a Capital C”, and “Season of Miracles” among others. Her TV credits include: “Sidekicks”, “Quantum Leap”, and “The Mentalist” among others. In 2011, she was nominated for the Movie Guide Grace Award for her role in “Christmas with a Capital C”. Her Christian books include: “Beauty by the Book: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You” and “The Wonder of His Love: A Journey into the Heart of God”.
In an interview with the Christian Post, she described her Christian faith journey. Even though she was raised in a Southern Baptist family and taught to have a strong, faithful relationship with God as a child, she said, “For 15 years, I was a prodigal. I still believed [in God], it’s just that He was not the center of my life, but I chose my projects based on those beliefs. I looked at myself as the one making things happen and put my career at the center of my life. My personal choices left me broken and going from boyfriend to boyfriend to boyfriend. So I had an epiphany and was diagnosed with cancer on my face. It threatened the career I’d built my life on. I realized that everything I had built my ‘perfect’ life on could be taken away in a moment.”
In an Assist News interview, she spoke further about her faith and the moment she turned her life over completely to Jesus Christ. She said, “I actually came to faith after I started my career, but I was a lapsed Christian for many, many years. I’d become a seeker and I was seeking all the world religions looking for answers and I was a student of Buddhism and Hinduism and Rosicrucianism and the whole new age gamut. I was reading my Bible at the same time too. And one day I was shooting an episode of ‘Magnum P.I.’ in Hawaii back in 1984 and I had brought my Bible with me and I had this incredible encounter with the living Lord. So right there on a beach in Hawaii, I went rushing into the arms of the one who’s been rushing after me all these years.”
She went on to say, “[This decision] certainly began to radically change the roles that I chose and how I conducted myself in the workplace. I began to pray about whether or not to take certain roles. As with all of us, when Christ is really the one informing us of our choices, you may not rise to quite the heights because you know it’s harder to say yes to projects that are anathema to our faith, so I turned down an awful lot of work over the years.”
“I am so aware now of why God has enabled me to be an actress, especially on a show like ‘Matlock.’ It’s because it gives me equity and a platform, and so I appreciate it and am glad for it. I want to give them [the public] assurance that God loves them, cares for them, and provide them hope.”
Today, she serves on the Biola University Studio Task Force as well as on the advisory board for The Dove Foundation. Along with speaking to Christian groups and writing inspiration books, she also assists her husband, a Dallas Theological Seminary graduate, in church planting and Christian music and ministry.