Name, Image and Likeness, or NIL is something most college sports fans are very familiar with. For years college athletes have asked why schools and sports programs can make millions of dollars off of their abilities and the student athlete sees none of that money. That all changed last year when NIL money was okayed by the NCAA powers that be. College athletes saw their bank accounts swell overnight by accepting endorsement deals. What does a college player do with all that money? For most, exactly what you would expect. Cars, jewelry and that new home from mom. But for Hendon and Alston Hooker, NIL money opened the door to an opportunity to share what they believe is the key to their success.
Hendon Hooker is the quarterback for the University of Tennessee and his brother Alston is a redshirt freshman quarterback at NC A&T. Together they wanted to give back and their solution was to write a children’s book that explored the Scriptures that shaped their childhood. When the two were growing up their parents would give them verses to meditate on according to whatever issue they were dealing with at the time. As a result of this upbringing, the two brothers decided the best way to impact the next generation was to share what had had the greatest impact on them growing up. The result was “The ABC’s of Scripture for Athletes,” written in a comic book format. https://www.hookedonsports.org/
“It’s a huge deal to me and my brother. We’re very firm in our faith,” Hendon said on The Paul Finebaum Show. “… Growing up, we had these flash cards with the alphabet on it and the Bible verse to match the alphabet letter.”
The book includes caricatures of both brothers as they tackled the various challenges on the playing field accompanied by appropriate related verses.
“We came up with the idea simply for other athletes and younger athletes to have a guide and reading opportunity that we desperately needed when we were kids,” Alston said. “We had a few things that we pieced together but I think this is a great opportunity to have one book that you can go from in being an athlete, especially as a kid.”
It's nice to put school rivalries aside for a moment and celebrate the fact that God is at work in our universities. More than that it is important to recognize the fact that the inspiration began at home by a Christian mom and dad who recognized the fact that they alone were not able to give the level of wisdom to their children that they would need in life. Building a Scriptural foundation in their children at an early age gave them the wisdom and maturity they needed when good things came their way. Because they knew how to handle adversity, they also knew how to handle success.
Pray for those that God has given special physical abilities. Pray that God will place mentors in their life so that they may be able to use their gifts for the glory of God and not selfish pleasures of this world.
Serving the Savior,
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