The greatest opportunity to influence and reach people for Christ is at hand. Never before in history have amateur sports been so powerfully positioned as they are today.
The most influential non-professional athletes are not Olympians; nor are they college students. They are high schoolers.
Sixteen-year-old Mikey Williams (below) who plays for Lake Norman Christian School makes over 2 million dollars in revenue because he has over 3 million followers on social media. He has captivated the hearts of youth around the country. (FYI - Sunrise beat Norman at Battle at the Rock)
Bronny Jr. most famously known as LeBron James' son, plays at Sierra Canyon School in Los Angeles is followed by over 5.8 million people. People want to be like him so much so they buy what he wears, eat what he eats, and so on. Advertisers go where they get the biggest return on their money. ESPN has lost over 10 million viewers over the last five years because a growing number of viewers are going onto social media.
“The most influencial amatuer athletes in the world are high school students” - Coach Barnwell
Kappernick, LeBron, and Tebow are all household names because they use their platform to influence. Is their influence just about shoes and branding youth to buy a certain item? Have they leveraged their popularity to teach their followers about good and evil? Do they have the integrity and virtue to influence a nation for good?
Nathan Bain, Sunrise Elite Basketball graduate, shocked the Blue Devils who were projected to win by 27 points. Bain said, “I prayed it went in,” and it did.
The first non-conference loss in nearly twenty years. After the game, Bain gave glory to God. He also asked that viewers help those displaced by the hurricane in the Bahamas.
Nathan Bain, was hardly known until he made history on Duke’s home court. His platform grew overnight. His relief efforts for the Bahamas jumped from $2,000 to over $104,000. All the money was sent for relief.
What caused Nathan to put aside an opportunity for self-glorification and advancement?
His faith and hope in Jesus.
Nathan, like many players who come to Bel Aire, Kansas has little to no connection to Jesus Christ. It was here in a suburb of Wichita that Nathan learned the true meaning of the crucifix. Nathan’s companionship with Christ and his teammates propelled him to achieve a full-ride college education.
Imagine if household names were those who embodied virtue, character, nobility, self-sacrifice? Imagine what the world would be if youth longed to be honorable men and virtuous women?
Sunrise Christian Hoops (SCH) is unlike any program in the country because it is serving a greater purpose than money or glorification of self. Sunrise Christian Hoops’ mission is to produce leaders of thought, character, and faith through pursuing excellence in academia, athletics, and Jesus Christ.
Every year SCH scholarships its players to help cover the costs of being in the program. Since the program began we have:
Over 39 countries represented including those closed to western missionaries
87 Division I players