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Most Religious NBA Players

Most Religious NBA Players

Most Religious NBA Players

While many NBA players appear to be living a life of luxury, with fast cars, mega-mansions, and gold chains, a growing number of NBA players have begun to embrace their faith and their belief in God.

For these players, faith and a belief in a higher power are comforting beliefs, allowing them to push through adversity and obstacles. And while many players err on the side of caution when it comes to bringing religion into the game, these players definitely do not.

Below, we are going to look at the most religious NBA players. These players have expressed their belief in religion and a higher power and can be seen visibly displaying that belief both on and off the court.

Looking for even more specific religious NBA players? Be sure to check out our reviews on the best Muslim and Jewish basketball players.

Steph Curry

Steph Curry may be best known for his ability to hit the deep three but he is also deeply religious. In his Facebook series titled ‘Stephen vs. The Game’, he explains how his faith helps him both on and off the court.

“My faith is tested on the court as much as it is in life,” Curry said on the show.

“It’s the part that always keeps me focused on what I need to do when it comes to my family, when it comes to my job, when it comes to how I treat other people, my appreciation for life and all the good things that happen and how to deal with the bad things that happen.”

Steph continues by stating,

“I put believer first, because that is supposed to be the roots of everything that I do as a believer, as a husband, as a father, and on down from there.”

“Faith to me is believing in the unseen, and having a conviction that there is a higher power that has given me a purpose to what I am doing on this earth,” he added. “For me, that is the foundation to how I live my life and how I want to see the world through that lens.”

Dwayne Wade

Dwayne Wade wore the number 3 for his entire NBA career. Yet that jersey number wasn’t chosen randomly. Rather, Dwayne was wearing that 3 as a constant tribute to the Holy Trinity and a reminder of God’s work in his life.

Dwayne Wade was barely four months old when his parents divorced. Living in a household affected by drug and substance abuse, Wade would find solace in his faith and the power of God.

Dwyane Wade continues to live through his faith, disapproving of drug and alcohol use, and works towards the well-being of the community through The Wade’s World Foundation. He also gives 10% of his income to his church in Chicago, stating:

“I’m a firm believer in the Bible. I believe everything in there. I’m given so much, so giving 10 percent back to God is nothing to me.”

Pete Maravich

Pete Maravich may be best known as ‘Pistol Pete’ but he would accept Christianity in his later years. By his own admission, Pete spent most of his life idolizing basketball, even going so far as to sleeping with a basketball until he was 13 year old, but in his final years, he accepted Christ and wasn’t shy about telling everyone.

Marshall Terrill, who co-authored the 422-page, 2006 biography “Maravich,” told Baptist Press, “The amazing thing about [Pete’s] Christianity — and I’ve never seen this with anybody else — is that it was almost like a switch had flipped inside him and he became very mature. It was such a fast transition. He knew the Bible inside and out — it almost seemed like he knew it instantly…. He started quoting Scripture and memorizing Scripture. His transformation was amazing.”

Pete Maravich would even go on to state, “[Jesus] saved me that day, and my life has never been the same since. … It’s not something that just happens to you and you forget about it…. It’s something that all of you are going to have to come to grips with one day in your life…. Jesus Christ changed my life. Money didn’t do it. Women didn’t do it. Friends didn’t do it.”

Chris Paul

Chris Paul may be better known as “the Point God” but the Phoenix Suns guard is a devout Christian, stating:

“I am a Christian. I grew up in the church and still go to church every Sunday if we don’t have practice. It’s always something that my parents instilled in me. I’ve grown to be pretty devout in my faith. I am so thankful that my parents raised me and my brother, C.J. to depend on God’s guidance and our faith in Him, and to always be thankful for what we receive. As I went through the past year, I just kept trying to have fun, knowing that I was playing basketball at the highest level, and remain humble, keeping in mind that all this [I have received] could be taken away from me as fast as it was happening.”

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard may appear to be Superman on the court but off the court he is a devout Christian. Having entered the NBA straight out of high school, Dwight Howard felt the pressure to succeed in the league.

However, Dwight Howard would discuss how faith helped propel him through NBA fame and stardom.

“My mission was to preach God’s Word in the NBA, use the NBA as a platform for God,” Howard told CBN in 2016. “There’s times where it was very overwhelming. It was like, man, this is so much that everything is at my disposal. All I got to do was just go reach and it’s mine.”

“When I came out, I wanted everybody to know that I am a man of faith. I believe in God and I will always believe in Him,” Howard said. “The minute I messed up, the minute I sinned, everybody took a shot at it, ‘you’re supposed to be a Christian.’

“But Jesus died on the cross for our sins,” he continued. “You know, so if He’s willing to forgive us, why can’t we forgive each other?”

Alonzo Mourning

Alonzo Mourning was one of the most intimidating forces in college basketball, a 6-10 All-American ensconced in the intimidating aura of Georgetown. He became a seven-time NBA All-Star and was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year.

However, coming from a foster home, he would face numerous challenges in his younger years. Mourning would, however, credit his foster mom for the support and love she gave him, stating:

She implemented so many positive things in my life. When I say positive things, I mean she taught how to be a man. She taught me about faith, about God and believing. Being a retired school teacher, she also taught me the importance of my education and prioritizing that. That’s why I wanted to be a college graduate. I could’ve easily left and went to the pros, but I wanted to make her proud. Without that woman, seriously without her and her caring approach to all of her foster kids, because she fostered 49 kids in her lifetime, I wouldn’t be talking to you today.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may be one of the best known Muslim basketball players of all time. Yet Kareem wouldn’t become Muslim until the age of 24, changing his name from Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.

Speaking at the Milwaukee Theatre, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would state about Islam:

“If you can present the facts in a way that’s not threatening and not hostile and show that you have an understanding of what the reality is, people will listen to you, and they will appreciate the fact that you’re trying to build bridges,”

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving may be one of the most polarizing individuals currently in the NBA. The Brooklyn Nets superstar, however, has never been afraid to speak his mind and discuss difficult topics.

And while rumors recently swirled that Irving had converted to Islam, he would open up about his faith at a post-game interview, stating:

“All praise is due to God, Allah, for this. … For me, in terms of my faith and what I believe in, being part of the Muslim community, being committed to Islam and also just being committed to all races and cultures, religions, just having an understanding and respect. I just want to put that as a foundation.”

In fact, Kyrie is so committed to his faith that he was recently seen breaking his fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on the bench, a clip that has since gone viral.