Anthony Tolliver is a forward for the Atlanta Hawks. He played his college ball at Creighton and played for Kickapoo High School in my hometown (one heck of a team). When Anthony isn’t playing basketball, he’s working with his company Active Faith. You should definitely check it out and buy some gear. Anthony was gracious enough to answer a few questions for us, and since then has become one of my favorite players.
1. How did you come about your faith?
I grew up in a God-fearing home but my mother didn’t force us into going to church. She allowed us to make that decision ourselves. When I was 12, I went to church with one of my friends and had an unbelievable experience that I’ll never forget. The pastor’s words directly related to everything that I was going through and I felt the Holy Spirit all around me. I gave my life to the Lord that day and haven’t looked back since.
2. Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
My favorite is Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge His ways in all you do and He will make your paths straight.”
3. How do deal with the temptations that come with being on the road in the NBA?
I try to surround myself with teammates that will help me in my walk instead of getting me off track. I mainly just avoid going out to clubs and getting myself into situations where I can get tempted. Staying in the word and staying busy with business ventures really keeps my mind focused on other things.
4. How are you able to stay connected to your church family and find fellowship in the midst of a demanding NBA schedule?
It’s tough to stay connected with my church family with my profession, but the internet makes it much more manageable. Between podcasts, and just 1-on-1 communication, I am able to stay connected with the people in my life that help me in my walk.
5. Are you able to share your faith much with other NBA players?
Through my company Active Faith, I have been able to make it known what I believe and what I represent. I always wear rubberbands that say "In Jesus Name I Play" and people ask questions about it all the time.
6. What other NBA players are representing Jesus really well?
There are a lot of guys in this league that rep Christ well. A few off the top of my head are Steph Curry, Luke Ridnour, Michael Redd, Carl Landry, Mike James, Garrett Temple, and Jeremy Lin. Of course no one is perfect, but all of these guys have a good, Christ-centered foundation.
7. Who is the person that's helped you mature in the faith the most?
My best friend, Dane Watts, has probably been the person in my life who has helped me most in getting closer to Christ. He has helped keep me accountable and has been a great friend.