This week we feature NBA shooting guard, Justin Holiday of the Chicago Bulls! We talk about winning the Championship and his advice for aspiring players.
Where did your love for the game come from?
I guess my love for the game came from my parents. I played a lot of sports when I was growing up, but basketball was the one sport I enjoyed most. My parents contributed to the love of the game because they both played through college. I remember watching them play all the time in church leagues or at the park and how much fun they had. They also encouraged me and were knowledgeable in basketball so they helped me get better and encouraged me to keep going, no matter how hard it was.
What’s so special about the NBA in your eyes?
The NBA is the highest level of basketball. To be able to compete with the best players in the world makes this noteworthy. With that said, we as players are able to reach and influence so many people. And that is special because I can spread God’s word and shine His light with basketball as my platform.
How good for your development has it been, having your siblings who play at a high standard of basketball too, nice rivalry with Jrue in the league?
Having siblings that are as talented and hardworking as not only Jrue, but also Aaron and Lauren, was and still is great for my development. Growing up competing everyday with your siblings, regardless of talent, was a gift. Getting better was the only option for us because we loved to compete and push one another. Having talented siblings as opponents forced growth and it is a blessing that I am thankful for.
Winning the NBA Championship must be the pinnacle of your achievement in the game so far? What’s the ultimate ambition now?
Winning a NBA Championship was a great experience for me. I will always cherish that year and have a special bond with those guys. But there are other goals I am working to achieve throughout my career in the NBA. I want to become a starter, an All-star, and also two time champion throughout the remaining years I have in the league.
What are the keys necessary to be a world class shooting guard?
There are four keys that I feel gave me a chance to be the player I am today. Those keys are faith, confidence, perseverance, and hard work.
Who is the best player that you’ve competed against on the court?
The best players I have competed against are my brother Jrue, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and James harden. Couldn’t pick one.
You are bold with your faith in Jesus, how did you come to know him for yourself?
I grew up in the church, so I was taught at a very young age who the Lord was. My faith grew from the trials I have encountered in my life and I realized the importance of my personal relationship with Jesus in growing through them. The more I went through, the more I learned who I needed to rely on, and that was Jesus. Reading the Word was and is still huge for my continual growth and spiritual sustenance.
People might say, as an NBA pro, you have it all, why do you need God, what’s your answer to that?
Having money is not everything and accumulating wealth actually brings a lot more problems to your attention. We as players go through some of the same experiences that non-players go through because life is hard and we aren’t perfect. The difference is, we are being watched at all times and our mistakes often become public knowledge. I know God is needed to make it through everyday life and to guide my steps in the decisions that I make that are not only monitored closely, but are also capable of making a huge impact on others. I seek wisdom and strength from the Lord as I try to walk through this life in a way that represents Him even greater than myself.
Why do you think God has given you the platform that he has?
I believe God has given me this platform to be a light. I am here to spread His word and be an example of someone that lives for the Lord. My hope is that by telling my story, people will inadvertently hear about Him and the wholeness and joy He can bring in the world. My prayer is that my journey also inspires and encourages others to chase after their dreams and callings in life.
What advice would you give to young boys aspiring to be the next Justin Holiday?
I would tell them that anything worth having has to be equally worth working for, so commit to the work like you would to the success. Put your faith in the Lord and have confidence in yourself. I believe this advice is for life and not just basketball. Whatever you want to be in life can be obtained and I feel you can give yourself a better chance using those principles. Most importantly, I want these young men to know that God is the one and only reason for my success and I give all glory to Him.