NBA star Al Horford gives glory to God as Celtics advance to conference finals

National Basketball Association star Al Horford at a press conference in May 2024.
National Basketball Association star Al Horford at a press conference in May 2024. | Screengrab: YouTube/ Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics star Al Horford is giving God the glory after his team advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Following the second round, Game 5 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, the 17-season veteran center and five-time all-star shared in a post-game conference: "I have to give glory to the Lord."

"Tonight was a special night," he added. "We had this chance to close it out here at home, and for me, the biggest thing was just bringing energy, bringing energy to our group."

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Horford, who was drafted in 2007 and turns 38 next month, scored 22 points and secured 15 rebounds in Wednesday's game. 

"Any time he speaks, everybody listens, because of his humility, his selflessness, and his leadership, always looking to make the right play," Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said in 2023, referring to Horford's contributions to the team.

Over the years, Horford hasn't shied away from sharing his Christian faith.  

"My whole purpose in life is to please God, to ensure I'm doing his will and that I'm living my life in that example," the athlete said during a 2021 interview with 

"Based on that, that's how I go about my life, and then the rest of everything will fall in place — whether it's me being a basketball player, being the best father, the best husband, and just trying to help anybody I can along the way."

Horford told Sports Spectrum in 2022 that even though he lacked a relationship with God when first started his NBA career, he has developed a strong desire to serve and honor the Lord with his life and career goals. 

"This is what I live by, you know, my faith — my faith in Jesus Christ. And what he's done in my life is what I live for," Horford said. "It's been a beautiful journey for me."

"God has spoken to my heart, and great things have come out of that. You know, blessings in my spiritual life, but also blessings with my family and my career, in many different ways."

As his faith grew over the years, Horford said it wasn't always easy to share it with others because he has always been a more private person. 

"Even talking about it — even talking about it publicly or addressing it in an interview and things like that — I've always been very reserved and more private," Horford admitted. 

"But, I was at the point that I was like, you know what, I need to let people know that a lot of these things and all this success that I'm having is because of my faith and because of God's Word in me."

Horford said "one of the things that I always felt I had to do was that I had to speak about it. I had to speak about my faith. I had to speak about all the wonders that God is doing in my life, how much he has changed me."

"Over the years, I've seen that change in me for the better, and he's guiding me. He's showing me his way and it's something that's beautiful."

Staying connected to his faith during NBA seasons is vital for Horford, who said reading the Bible, praying and attending local churches is a priority for him wherever he travels for the sport.

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Horford said he is accustomed to reading a Spanish translation of the Bible. However, more recently, he started studying English translations to help him better communicate with others when he has the chance to share the Word of God.    

"I'm always making sure I give that time [for Bible reading]. For me, it's so important, and it makes such a big difference for me in the way that I feel," Horford said.

The Celtics will play the winner of the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Finals beginning next Tuesday. 

Nicole VanDyke is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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