Story corrected April 11, 2008
SAN ANTONIO (BP)–Something may have seemed amiss on the telecast of Kansas’ victory over Memphis for the NCAA championship Monday night. No coach or athlete voiced thanks to God.
But the game had its faith moments. Dramatic ones, even.
ESPN online columnist Pat Forde recounted a story about Mario Chalmers’ father, whose son sank a clutch 3-pointer to send Kansas into overtime.
With just over two minutes left in the game -– before Kansas mounted a nine-point comeback en route to a 75-68 overtime win -– Chalmers’ father, Ronnie, looked at two verses he had written on a piece of paper: Psalm 46:10 and verse 1.
Verse 10 of Psalm 46 counsels, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Verse 1 reminds: “God is a refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble.”
“We were in trouble at that time,” Ronnie Chalmers recounted, according to ESPN’s Forde, who added, “Ya think?”
Then, akin to the oft-heard sports phrase, “the agony of defeat,” the Associated Press recounted that Memphis Coach John Calipari was praying when the Tigers’ freshman sensation Derrick Rose was at the foul line with about 11 seconds remaining in regulation.
Capilari acknowledged to the media: “I said, ‘Lord, if he makes this, these two, we’re supposed to be national champs. And if that’s Your will, I’m fine. And if he misses them and we’re not, I’m fine with that, too.’ That’s what I said in my mind. I’m probably not supposed to say that, religiously, but that’s what it was.”
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.