NBA All-star Weekend
The NBA weekend starts with the skills competitions. In the Skills Challenge Tony Parker from the San Antonio Spurs won over Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics, Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. In the Three-Point Contest Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves won over Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, James Jones and Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat, Ryan Anderson of the Orlando Magic, Anthony Marrow of the New Jersey Nets and Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks. In the Slam Dunk Contest Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz won over Chase Budinger of the Houston Rockets, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, Derrick Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks. In the Haier Shooting Stars Competition Team New York, beat Team Texas, Team Atlanta, and Team Orlando. In the Raising Stars Challenge Team Chuck bet Team Shaq 146 to 133.
In the All-Star Game the Western Conference Team (West) was made up of Andrew Bynum and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers, Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies, Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks and Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs. The Eastern Conference Team (East) was made up of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat, Paul Pierce and Rojon Rondo of the Boston Celtics, Luol Deng and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers, Andre Iguodala of the Philadelphia 76ers, Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks and Deron Williams of the New Jersey Nets. In the first quarter the West outscored the East 39-28, in the second quarter the West outscored the East again, this time 49-41 to make it 88-69 half time. Chris Brown performed in the Half time show. In the third quarter the East outscored the West 43-36 which made it 124-112 West, in the last quarter the East outscored the West again 37-28 so at the end of the game it was 152-149 West. Well congratulations to the Western Conference Team and better luck next time to the Eastern Team.
On January 30th I went to a meet and greet, where I got to meet four golfers who are Christians. I met Mark Wilson, Webb Simpson, Ben Crane, and Aaron Baddeley. At the meet and greet they all talked about how they came to know God, and what He has done in their lives with their families, golf and just everyday life.
Ben Crane was the first to talk about his life. Ben is 35 years old; he was born in Portland, Oregon on March 6, 1976. Ben’s grandfather taught him how to play golf when Ben was five years old. Ben grew up in Portland and played at the nearby course which is called the Portland Golf Club. Ben graduated from Beaverton High School in 1994. Later that year he went to a Christian College in Texas, and eventually he transferred to the University of Oregon where he graduated in 1999. Ben met his wife Heather in college while Heather was a freshman. Ben and Heather got married in 1999 and now they have three children. They have a son named Brady and two daughters named Cassidy and Saylor Mackenzie. Ben grew up in a Christian home, but as Ben got older he began to lose faith in God, especially when he went off to college and was out on his own. Like most people, other things became his God. Ben started to find his faith when he started dating his wife Heather; they decided to follow and believe in God together. Heather and Ben have been doing their very best on what God wants them to do in their life. They are involved in do numerous charities, and organized a Daily Golfers Devotional which is when all the golfers get together and read the Bible every day before they play a round of golf. Anyone can participate in the devotional including you. If you wish to participate all you have to do is go to bencranegolf.com and click on “Read more of Ben’s Daily Devotionals,” then click on “Subscribe to Devotionals” and enter your information. They will send you the devotional every day they read them. Ben also makes videos which are pretty funny. He is part of a band called “Golf Boys” which is made up of four golfers; their names are Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, and Rickie Fowler. They have a music video, the song is called “Oh, Oh, Oh” and you can find it on YouTube.
Webb Simpson was the second to speak about his life. Webb’s full name is James Frederick Simpson; he is 26 years of age. He was born on August 8, 1985, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Webb has been playing golf since his early teens. He played for his high school and played golf for Wake Forest University. The way Webb and his wife Dowd got together, was a week before Webb was going to go to college Webb’s father met Dowd at a party and paid her one hundred dollars to show his son around the campus so he would feel cool because he was with her. So after the party Webb’s father called him and told him about Dowd. He told Webb that she was very pretty and that he should ask her out, but Webb had a girlfriend at the time and didn’t really seem interested. The next week Webb and a couple of his friends went to a party, and Webb saw Dowd and thought that she was very beautiful and asked his friends to “ask if her name was Dowd” because he thought that it might be the girl his dad was talking about. Webb’s friend ended up not asking her if her name was Dowd but the next day, Dowd’s friend and she stopped by Webb’s dorm room to see how he was doing in his first week at Wake Forest. Webb almost fell out of his chair when he saw Dowd walk in to his dorm room. On their first date they watched the movie “Seven” in Webb’s dorm. During the movie Webb ended up falling asleep; when he woke up the credits were playing and Dowd was still there. Webb and Dowd dated till Webb’s senior year of college. Webb said that after that he became very invested in his faith which the center of their relationship. Webb and Dowd got married on January 22, 2010. They have a son names James; he is one year old, and Dowd is pregnant with their second child. Webb has seven amateur wins and two professional career wins; both wins came in 2011. Even though Webb has seven amateur wins and two professional wins, he has also had his ups and downs with his faith. There has been a few times in his career that Webb wanted to quit golf and get a different job, but God revealed to him that golf was what he wanted Webb to do in his life. Webb participates with the devotional, and he and his wife also partake in numerous charities.
Aaron Baddeley was the third golfer to speak. Aaron is 30 years old; he was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire on March 17, 1981. Even though Aaron was born in America, he grew up in Australia from the age of two. Aaron was introduced to golf by his two grandmothers; both of his grandmas played golf. At 13 years of age Aaron had his first golf lesson with his coach Dale Lynch. Aaron had a very great amateur career; at 15 he was the youngest Australian to make it to day three in an Australian event. When Aaron was 18 years old he won Holden Australian Open, his first professional win as an amateur. Aaron turned pro when he was nineteen. In Aaron’s whole professional career he has won seven times. Aaron met his wife Richelle in the summer of 2003. They got married two years later on Easter Sunday. Aaron and Richelle are both Christians. In fact, on their first date they started talking about God and knew that they were made for each other. They now have two little girls, Jewell who is three years old and Jolee who is nine months old. Throughout Aaron’s life he has also thought about quitting golf many times but it was his faith that stopped him. Aaron and wife are also involved in many charities. One of the charities they are highly involved in is the Hope Kids. Aaron lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and every person who meets him says that he is very respectful, honest, nice and fun to be around. When I met him he was very nice to me. He was always willing to autograph a picture or even take a picture with anyone. His favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 which states “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So no matter what, always know that God has a plan for you; whether it was the plan you wanted or not, always trust in the Lord.
Mark Wilson was the last one to speak. Mark is the oldest of the four that spoke; he is thirty-seven years old. He was born on October 31, 1974 in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Mark’s dad got him into golf when he was two and he has been playing ever since. Mark turned pro in 1997 at the age of 23 after attending the University of North Carolina. During this time he met and married his wife Amy and they now have two little boys. Mark has nine professional wins and two of his wins came in 2011. Mark and his wife Amy also partake in numerous charities. One of the charities they are really big on is Blessings in a Backpack. This charity puts food in backpacks and gives them to needy children on the weekends so they know that they have something to eat on Saturday and Sunday. If you want to also take part in this, all you have to do is go to Blessing in a Backpack and click on “Donate.” Amy is also one of the main organizers of the Professional Golf Association Tour Wives. This is when all the wives of the players travel around with their husbands and go to schools, hospitals, charities, and churches to spread the word of God. They also cook in soup kitchens and take part in other charities and organizations like that. If you want to know more about what they do, just go to MarkWilsonGolf.com and click on “Giving Back,” and you can see the different things they are involved in.
These are the lives of Ben Crane, Webb Simpson, Aaron Baddeley, and Mark Wilson. All of these men are great golfers, men, and Christians. One of the things I hope we all learn from them is how to put everything we have done and are going to do in God’s hands. I hope you enjoyed this month’s issue. God bless. ~Caela
Caela’s byline: I am the oldest of six children. I am a Christian. I love watching movies, playing on my computer, and I love watching sports. I want to go to Syracuse University, and eventually become a sports journalist. My favorite sports are hockey, football(soccer), and golf.