|2||Keynan Carter||W||6’2||183||W||Powder Springs, GA|
|3||Aaron Brown||W||6’3||180||FR||Traverse City, MI|
|5||Levi Miller||G||5’9||165||SR||South Korea|
|11||Jonah Wilson||G||5'11||178||SO||Lansing, MI|
|12||Joseph Shidler||G||6'0||156||JR||Olive Branch, MS|
|21||Jeremiah Ransom||W||5’10||170||FR||Bloomington, MN|
|22||David Arabis||G||5'11||157||SR||Lisbon, Portugal|
|23||Jacob Kim||G||5'11"||180||JR||Buffalo Grove, IL|
|33||Joshua Wedeven||W||6'4"||180||JR||Holland, MI|
Head Coach: Daniel Dunn
Assistant Coach: Bryant Westbrooks
Student Assistant Coach: Jacob Hunt
Manager: Trevor Teeple
Statistician: Erick Weisto
Our Senior players of 2016 wrote a short essay about how they want to be remembered, and what basketball has meant to them here at Moody. Click on a name to read the essays below:
The senior players of this season wrote a short essay about how they want to be remembered and what basketball has meant to them here at Moody. You can read them below
I have been thinking about the question for four long years. I wrote down my thoughts about the question at 5 am in the morning, but I have been thinking about this question for four long years. The first time that I had interaction with the question, I was a freshman and there standing before me were the three seniors answering the question, “how do I want to be remembered when I die”. Granted, most 21 year olds would find this question odd, being that we are approaching the prime of life. But as it stands, I like the question. It forces me to think beyond myself; it forces me to ponder, what is life truly about? It reminds me that if the Jesus keeps taking his time I will die, and people will talk. It reminds me that life is bigger than what my finite mind can wrap itself around. I am going to address the category of legacy today, but I wanted to share my thoughts in light of what my four years on this team has taught me. I have boiled the question, of “how I wanted to be remembered when I die” down to three categories: Word, life, and deed.
When I die, I want people to see that I was a man who lived by the Word of God. I want people to see that I was a man who gave his life over to becoming a capable handler of God’s Word correctly dividing it, and not misconstruing it to meet my own false needs. I want people to recall that I correctly handled the voice of God, as I spoke out to His people. At the start of every practice, God’s Word was present. My teammates and I have all had to privilege to go to text, glean from the Word, bring those thoughts back to practice, and have a platform to share those thoughts with everyone else. Of course we go to Moody Bible Institute and we as students have technically been studying God’s Word all day. But the practice of starting every practice with a devotional reminds me that I cannot and should not do anything in my life divorced of from the authoritative Word of God. So, I want to leave this earth doing it by the book. A legacy of Word, God’s Word.
As we breathe the Word, we must live it out. A life well lived, has to be modeled after someone who has lived before. When I first came to this team the first person I looked up to was Steve Harrison. I had heard of Steve’s shooting average of 27.3 points per game before I had ever even met him. He had a basketball confidence and talent within him that I had never seen in any player before. At least, any player that I have ever played alongside of. After getting to know Steve and picking his brain he taught me that it took work, hard work to become good at playing a specific role. So I shaped that side my life after his work ethic. Because, Steve and I became friends, or as he would define it one of his closest friends. I learned he had strengths and weaknesses as a man. If I am truly going to leave a legacy behind that is worth leaving behind my entire life needs to be shaped after the greatest man to ever walk to the earth. Jesus Christ is a man who embodies perfectly how life should be lived. And because I want to go out with a bang, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
So far we have covered Word, Life, now let’s tackle deed. The basketball court is bigger that the baseline, the sideline, the hoops, and the leather ball. The court is a place of service. One of my most difficult years on this team was my sophomore year, I myself felt like a problem child. Coach Dunn has one of the busiest schedules on the planet. But, he took his precious time to serve me. Coach Fred and him took time to rebuke me and mold me as best as they could. I’ll never forget the day when long after the season was over Coach Dunn called me to his office spoke encouragement into my life and left me with a book to read by his favorite author, Jon Gordon. That one act of selflessness encouraged my soul in ways I cannot put on paper. Through that one deed I knew his heart had compassion for me and he wanted to see me strive for greatness. During my time on this team there have been so many other selfless acts of kindness shown towards me some little some big. My first pair of elite songs came from Jacob Crabtree. I have a marble etching of Kobe Bryant because of Josh Winkler. One year, one of my teammates family helped me pay a school bill. All of these deeds of kindness are spurred on because of God’s Word teaching Christians how they are suppose to out their lives in deed to one another. Coach has always taught me if you live life to live for yourself and to solely please yourself, you will leave behind a wasteful existence. In leading a life in service to others you can truly be energized. So, when I am lying there on my death bed the legacy that I want to leave behind is one of understanding the Word, Living my Life after Christ, and in deed to others. Word. Life. Deed.
During my time at the Moody Bible Institute I've had a job in facilitates doing carpentry. My work has included everything from the monotonous work of tightening screws of the classroom chairs to repairing roof leaks. Last summer I was given the responsibility of repairing the plaza bricks. On the fly I learned how to tuck point. The job was tough. I used a an electric saw to take out the bad bricks and learned how to mix mortar and install the new bricks. As the hot summer weeks went on I grew discontent with the work. Why was I doing this job? No one would be able to tell the difference if new bricks would be installed. But I continued and finished the job right before the start of the fall semester. The students that roamed the plaza during the school year did not notice anything. That's when it hit me. My purpose doing this job was for that exactly. A lot of us take on daily tasks that keep the ship known as the Moody Bible Institute a float. Hundreds of employees sacrifice their time and energy every day to make important financial decisions, keep the halls of our school clean, keep our campus safe, and prepare our food (No matter how much we can get sick of the SDR). When I met with coach Dunn before the season, I made two individual goals that would reflect that sort of attitude. Number one, I would always work hard in practice by being the "high motor guy" and number two, make the extra pass for the better scorers. As much as I would to love take all the shots I had wanted, I would have only broken down the concept of a team. Because just like the MBI, our team has scorers, floor generals, rebounders and guys that hustle. Just like my job fixing the bricks on campus, my job for the team is to hustle for the greater good of the team. All of this is taken from the Truth God has instilled in to his bride, the Church. Apostle Paul describes her as a body in 1 Corinthians 12. If I could guess what body part I am, I would maybe say an appendix. You cant see me but I'm definitely there, sort of confused at times on what my role is and maybe I even need to be surgically removed before I explode. I'm just kidding, but sorry guys for messing up the inbounds plays at times. But in all seriousness my years at Moody have taught me not to seek personal fame or glory, but to humble myself and do the dirty work so that Christ can be exalted. I would like to finish with a quote by this one guy I learned about in Mission's Conference Week. He gave his entire life to being a missionary in a small, poor, country on the other side of the world. He said, "lived to be forgotten that Christ might be remembered." And true to his words, I don’t even remember his name, but I do remember all the things that Christ has done through him and for us all.
As I thought about what to write, my first thought was that I would rather not be remembered, that it would be self-centered of me to think about what people would remember about me when I die. However, as I reflected on this more, I realized that leaving a legacy does not have to be self-centered if that legacy is Christ-centered. In light of this, I hope that the legacy of my life is a demonstration of the steadfast love of God in Jesus Christ. That if I am thought of, it isn’t to reflect on anything special I’ve accomplished or even a life well lived, but only as an example of the fact that God never leaves or forsakes His own. I pray that the love that God has lavished on me spills onto the people that I love. I pray that God’s faithfulness is made so apparent by the way that I lived that even my death serves as an image of His faithfulness. With John the Baptist, I proclaim “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
This is a tough question to ponder as there are many things that I would love to be remembered for. I would like to be remembered for great accomplishments. If there could be one thing or many things that I could be dominant at, or change history, or become famous for – whatever. That would be great. I believe it is a common desire for man to want his name to be remembered and for other men to marvel at his strength and courage. If I could join the likes of an Abraham, Moses, Paul, Athanasius, Luther, or Bonhoeffer – I would be ecstatic. These are all men I look up to and absolutely admire. If I could be as great of a man and as great as a workman of Christ as these men, that would be phenomenal.
It would be great to be remembered for who I am as well. To be known as a kind and generous man - someone who gives to family, friends, and strangers unceasingly, even when it hurts. To be remembered as a humorous man who was filled with joy and shared joy with others. A man after God’s own heart, who was enamored with God and His Word, who loved Jesus with all that he had and in turn loves those around him with all he had. I would love to be remembered as a man who was sold out for God; that I had truly committed my whole life to service of our great God and King. But even within these thoughts there is the temptation to raise myself into God’s place. It is tempting to seek affirmation, fame, love through the adoration of others by the works I could do and the person I could be. It is a constant struggle to humble myself in order to glorify God. That nothing would point towards me, but that I could truly and honestly give all glory, credit, and honour to God for his grace and goodness towards me.
I often ask myself a tough question as well – would I be able to serve God while having no affirmation in this life and no record of any of my struggles, sacrifices, or devotion towards God remembered? What if I go my whole life devoting my life to God, and nobody notices? Would I be able to keep on? I honestly do not know the answer. I am blessed now to be in a community where I have incredible family members and friends who love me and encourage me in my service to God. But that could all go away.
I am confident that some of God’s greatest servants are men and women that we have never heard of. There have most likely been many servants of God that were able to serve God in an incredibly intense and sacrificial way and nobody was aware of it. They could have done great works that no man knows about. But what matters is not what man knows, but what God knows. And I believe this takes a huge amount of faith, courage, and humility to understand fully. I still feel like I am in a state where I am dependent on human knowledge and affirmation of my works, but I earnestly desire to be a man that is not dependent upon any man’s affirmation. I wish to only seek the affirmation of God.
My hope is that I will be a man of such great faith that I will not be dependent upon the thoughts, knowledge, or memories my peers have of me. I earnestly desire to seek God, please Him, and continue to honour the gift that God has given me. So, I would love to be remembered for my great faith, love, and works for the Lord. This would be truly special to be like the great men of history as well as the great fathers and grandfathers that I have had go on before me. Ultimately, though, I want to be a servant of Christ, and a servant who is not dependent upon man’s affirmation; but a man seeking only the love and pleasure of God. That I can be told that I did a good job by my Lord, and that would be enough for me.