5 Christians Vying for a Championship Ring in NBA Playoffs

REUTERS/David Richard-USA TODAY SportsCavaliers SF LeBron James hugs Warriors PG Steph Curry during Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

The second round of the NBA playoffs are underway with numerous teams vying for the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. While each team in the running is relying on the talent of their athletes, some of those athletes have been leaning on their faith in God.

The Christian Post has rounded up a list of players competing for a ring who have showcased both their Christian faith and talents on and off the court.

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(Photo: Reuters/ Thomas Shea )Houston Rockets center Nene Hilario (42) dunks on the Oklahoma City Thunder January 06, 2017.

1. Nene Hilario, 34, Houston Rockets Center

Before the veteran big man became a mentor to the Rockets star guard James Harden, the 6′11″ Brazilian known simply as Nene leaned on his faith in God to overcome two cancer scares.

Nine years ago, Nene fought for his health when a testicular tumor was removed in 2008. Not long after, his wife Lauren had to undergo brain surgery to remove a benign tumor on her pituitary gland.

The basketball player, who describes himself as a "man of a God" on Twitter, said he believes God brought him through the ordeal to help people.

"I realize God, He marked me, to understand, back in the day when I diagnosed with cancer, He said, 'You're going to have it because you're going to help a lot of people,'" Nene previously said in a Washington Post report. "I'm not nothing without God. The things I've been through, I been through because He was with me. If I wasn't, I would've fell on the first wall."

2. Bradley Beal, 23, Washington Wizards Shooting Guard 

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(Photo: Reuters/Mike Dinovo)Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) during practice before the game against the Chicago Bulls on October 11, 2014.

Bradley Beal's social media profile says a lot about his faith. The shooting guard's Twitter bio starts with "to God be the glory" while the description on his Instagram page begins with the word "blessed."

Just last month, Beal tweeted faith-based messages to over 250,000 followers on Twitter like "give it to God!" and "blessed to see another day."

As a teenager, Beal tattooed symbols of his faith on his arms that he drew himself. Some of that inking includes praying hands with Philippians 4:13 on his left arm which reads, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (ESV)

Beal credits God and his family for helping him get to the NBA.

"Because I know a lot of kids don't have their family, or don't have one of their parents or don't have the siblings that I have," he said in a previous Washington Post report. "But I knew without them, or without them pushing me and without God, of course, I wouldn't even be here."

3. LaMarcus Aldridge, 31, San Antonio Spurs Power Forward

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(Photo: Reuters/ Kevin Sousa )San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in a game against the Toronto Raptors on January 24, 2017.

LaMarcus Aldridge didn't grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth. In fact, he recalled going to bed hungry as a youth.

While getting drafted to the NBA in 2006 did ease some of his financial struggles, Aldridge had to overcome trials like a heart condition during his first year in the league that almost sidelined him permanently and his mother's battle with cancer years later.

The big man's tattooes also showcase his faith with inking like "truly blessed," "keep God first," and "faith" written on his arms. Aldridge believes God gave him his platform to bring glory to the most high.

"I came from poverty and a tough household where we didn't have enough money to really eat, to where I am now,'' Aldridge said, according to previous Oregon Live reports. "I know it was God giving me the guidance. I am one of His children and He's let me glorify His name with my game.''

Aldridge believes with God on his side, he has been given strength through his faith.

"It gives you strength, a calmness, a belief, and takes away worry,'' Aldridge said. "If you believe in God, you shouldn't worry. I know I'm one of His children and that He will stand by me.''

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(Photo: Reuters)Steph Curry celebrates after hitting a jumper in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, 2016.

4. Steph Curry, 28, Golden State Warriors Point Guard

Steph Curry's family helped shape his faith in his youth. In middle school, Curry recalled starting his relationship with God.

"My parents had us in church every Sunday, every Wednesday. It was more of a tradition at that point; I didn't have a personal relationship with the Lord until I went to the altar call one Sunday and the youth pastor told us to make a decision for ourselves," Curry previously told Active Faith. "The youth pastor told us we had to make a decision for ourselves, we couldn't rely on our parents. It had to be a decision on our own, and that's when I made it."

Curry's faith has always been at the forefront of his career, which led to him speaking at Christian college Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, earlier this year. There, he spoke to students about using his career to give glory to God.

"The Lord has blessed me with these talents to do something special. But it is not about me," the two-time reigning league MVP said, according to the Liberty University website. "That is something that I want my career and my life to be a reflection of — His love and His grace and mercy. Whether it is winning games, losing games, making shots, missing shots — it is all about giving glory to God."

6. Kyle Korver, 36, Cleveland Cavaliers Small Forward 

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(Photo: Kyle Korver/Instagram)Kyle Korver was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in January 2017.

Kyle Korver's Christian faith has been embedded in him since childhood with a number of pastors in his family. Korver considers it a gift to have grown up with those godly influences.

"My dad, grandpa and a couple of my uncles were pastors, and I grew up with so many godly examples to look up to in addition to them," he previously told the Fellowship Of Christian Athletes. "What a gift that was for me."

While Korver doesn't claim to have everything figured out after 14 years in the NBA, he wants to honor God with his platform.

"I don't know exactly what His plans are for my life, and I don't know why He's given me the opportunities He has, but I'm grateful for them," Korver said. "I'm going to do my best to honor Him with everything that comes from them."

When it comes to being rich, Korver doesn't look to his NBA paycheck. Instead, he leans on his relationship with God.

"I believe God is seeking all of our hearts, and if we are truly seeking His, He's going to take hold of us," Korver said. "When He does, the roots of our faith will grow deep. That's what makes for a rich life."