Isaiah Austin, of the Baylor University Bears, revealed Sunday that due to being diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects various parts of the body, he has no choice but to end his professional basketball career. The news comes just days before the 2014 NBA Draft, where he was expected to be a late first-round pick.
"They said I wouldn't be able to play basketball anymore at a competitive level," Austin revealed to ESPN in a tearful interview broadcast on Sunday. "They found the gene in my blood sample. They told me that my arteries in my heart are enlarged and that if I overwork myself and push too hard that my heart could rupture. The draft is four days away, and I had a dream that my name was going to be called."
The Christian athlete, who has long played with a detached right retina, had his diagnosis revealed during a pre-draft health screening. About 1 in 5,000 people is diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, which affects the heart, eyes, bones, and joints, according to The Marfan Foundation. more >>
NFL Hall of Famer and former New York Jets running back Curtis Martin has his pastor to thank for donning jersey number 28 during his time with the Jets, which the team retired for him in 2012.
Martin said he settled on 28 after wearing No. 26 for a while and then finding out that a player who wore jersey 28 was cut from the team. After consulting with his spiritual mentor, he then realized that numbers can have meaning, especially a biblical significance.
"He said (28) because that is a really important Bible verse. It's Deuteronomy 28, and he said that it talks about the blessings for obedience and all that," Martin said, according to NBC Sports. "So I took the number and Deuteronomy 28 became my only ritual before every game. I would read it and that's the reason why I wore No. 28." more >>
The federal agency on trademarks and patents ruled Wednesday to cancel the trademark name of the Washington Redskins NFL team, saying their moniker is "disparaging to Native Americans."
Judges with the federal U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled 2-1 Wednesday to cancel the team's trademark registrations, saying in the ruling: "Petitioners have found a preponderance of evidence that a substantial amount of Native Americans found the term Redskins to be disparaging when used in connection with professional football."
"While this may reveal differing opinions with the community, it does not negate the opinions of those who find it disparaging." more >>
The Brazilian Bible Society will distribute four million Bibles in an effort to reach the multitude of soccer fans that will trek to Brazil to attend the FIFA World Cup.
Leaders of the international outreach organization say over half a million fans from around the world will descend upon Brazil to join three million local fans, all of whom they hope to share the Gospel with.
"Brazilians are football-mad and their obsession with football will reach fever pitch over the next few weeks …," said Dr. Rudi Zimmer of the Bible Society of Brazil, reports the United Bible Societies. "We want the Bible to have a prominent presence amid all the excitement. It's an unprecedented opportunity for churches and Christians here to share God's Word with local and foreign fans, and we want to equip and encourage them to do that." more >>
Close to 3,000 families camped out near the World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo a day before the soccer tournament in Brazil begins, trying to raise global attention for what they say is a lack of support they have received from the government.
"I always liked the World Cup. I was Brazilian through and through," said one woman at the encampment, CNN reported. "But this Cup and the stadium are making people angry."
The World Cup, which begins June 12 and ends July 13, will bring together 32 nations to compete for the trophy. The organization has been plagued by protests from activists who have said that the country spent a total of $11 billion for the competition, while many social services have been neglected. more >>
Long-time soccer fans can still remember the stirring moment when Brazil won the 2002 World Cup in Japan. The team knelt in thankful prayer, and on the winner's podium some of the players were wearing shirts with slogans such as "I belong to Jesus" and "Jesus loves you."
The 2014 World Cup – it is played every four years – kicks off in Sao Paulo on June 12, with 32 teams competing over one month. Brazil, the home team, are favorites to take the winner's trophy for a record sixth time.
If this is the case, expect more Christian witness. For the Brazilian team boasts a number of very devout Christians. more >>