The NCAA has two new basketball champions, with the Stanford women’s team beating Arizona on Sunday and the Baylor men’s team beating Gonzaga on Monday. Players from both victorious teams, such as Anna Wilson and Jared Butler, have spoken openly about their Christian faith and praised Jesus in post-game interviews.
Stanford’s Anna Wilson: “Jesus You Always Come Through”
In a thrilling finish Sunday, the Stanford Cardinal women’s team defeated the Arizona Wildcats 54-53, clinching the school’s first championship since 1992. Stanford defensive standout Anna Wilson, who lists Colossians 3:23 in her Twitter bio, tweeted before tipoff: “You can do all things! Jesus you always come through.”
Wilson, a fifth-year senior, has been vocal about her faith. Last March, in a first-person piece for ESPN, she described the pain of losing her father when she was 12 and dealing with a severe concussion as a college freshman. She emphasized that faith gives her life purpose.
“When things aren’t going my way and it’s tough on the court,” Wilson wrote, “I always whisper, ‘He must increase, I must decrease.’ That’s John 3:30. … For me, that means minimizing myself—to put others first, and Jesus first, is more important than anything else. My faith has helped me with my definition of success. It’s definitely not all about me.”
By speaking about her faith, Wilson is following in the footsteps of her older brother, NFL star quarterback Russell Wilson. After watching his sister hoist the championship trophy Sunday, Russell tweeted out love for Anna, writing, “You’ve earned it all through hard work, leadership, prayer, & immeasurable Faith.”
Baylor Men: A Culture of J.O.Y.
Monday night’s anticipated matchup of two number-one men’s seeds turned into a rout by Baylor. The Bears beat previously undefeated Gonzaga 86-70 to claim the first men’s basketball championship in school history.