When Basketball is Taken Away - Brandon Knight

This is the first time during my nine years in the NBA when I have no clue where I’ll be this year or the following couple of years. And that’s OK. I’m completely trusting God with it. If I can’t think of the solution, He has something greater He’s thinking of. Five or six years ago, I wouldn’t have been so OK with it. 

I have always been at the top of the top and accustomed to the idea of, “If I work hard, it will happen. I’ll be able to choose my own destiny.” But when I was hurt and out of the game for a while, my destiny wasn’t in my hands. Through that process God humbled me to take a different role — to allow Him to lead. When I was hurt, the ball literally was not in my hands. I had to learn how to let the reigns go and understand that the control, whether I’m playing or not, is always God’s. This changed my perspective in every area of my life, not only in basketball.

Being off the court for a year due to injury put me in a situation where I thought I might never be the player I used to be. There were a lot of negative thoughts going through my mind. But God was telling me, “You have to trust Me with the process.” I had to find my peace in something other than basketball. I was able to find it in God. 

As an NBA player, you’re taught early on to have thick skin. I developed that from a young age. I didn’t care about what people said, I just wanted to be strong in what I did. But as far as finding peace, I only found that through diving into the Bible for myself, instead of just hearing what people would tell me about it. Then came a whole other level of peace. God showed me that He would give me things I hadn’t even planned for. The performance piece is cool and it’s good to want to achieve certain things, but God enlightened me to a Kingdom mindset, which is so much more significant.

The quarantine time was extremely impactful for me. Basketball was non-existent. It was the first time in my life I didn’t have to practice or rehab. When the world completely stopped, I wondered, “What do I do now?” I knew I wanted to come out of quarantine different than I went in. God was knocking on the door and got my attention. I started reading God’s Word and He brought key people into my life. Through fellowshipping and talking with pastors, including my father, a light switch came on. 

I went on a fast (no social media, no phones, no entertainment, and one meal a day) and God started speaking to me and changing things. God’s Word says that some things only change through fasting and prayer. Through fasting and praying for four days, my discernment and spiritual eyes were wide open. Suddenly I thought, “Man, I was missing this for 27 years?” I knew what it was to be a believer, but to finally get that connection where you know these thoughts are not your thoughts — I knew I couldn’t go any longer without it. Every day since, I have been consistently in the Word so He can reveal different things to me. 

The Holy Spirit is there to lead us; He’s an advocate for us. So many times we don’t tap into that. We don’t have to do anything in this world on our own. In every decision we can let God lead us if we wait on Him. Life is peaceful when you do it His way. He’s always there, it’s just a matter of if we see Him or not. 

“So is My Word that goes out from My mouth: it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” — Isaiah 55:11

There are situations in our lives that look dead, but our faith can grow in the process. Just like Abraham in his old age believed God would do what He said He would do, and in the process his faith grew, so will ours if we trust in God to do what He promises to do. His Word never fails. 

— Brandon Knight, NBA guard

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