After losing in the semi finals, Chile basketball star Anthony Newell is now headed home to Chicago with not a clue of what’s next for him. This is his first year back after taking a hiatus from the game to follow what he thought God’s plan was for him in becoming a minister.
“I thought that’s what God was calling me to do, says Newell, “It just wouldn’t die, my dream, my love for the game just wouldn’t die. It was God telling me to continue on. I feel like it was a test to see if I was willing to give up the game that I love so much.”
Newell credits God for opening the door for his return but he knows these chances wouldn’t have come without his hard work.
Starting in the gym with his dad as a kid on Sunday’s he’d watch the older guys play and that’s where his love started. He would just watch them play until he eventually began playing with them.
“It helped me to enjoy the game more, says Newell.”
“If this is really your passion and desire work hard in it …you can’t be lazy in this game, you have to put in the work if you want to see the results.”
Putting in the work is exactly what Newell did.
When asked, “ What advice would you give to someone who is sitting on the bench and working hard and still not seeing the payoff ?” Anthony laughs before sharing that the person on the bench was him.
Newell had to enjoy the game his first three years in high school at basketball powerhouse Chicago Simeon from the bench. He kept at it and his senior year he was one of the top players in the state of Illinois earning him a scholarship to Ball State University.
When Newell arrived at Ball State University he still spent a lot of time on the bench.
“If you are working hard everyone sees it and you just have to be patient, just keep doing what you are doing and it’ll pay off, it always does.
Ahead of having his senior season cut short due to injury, Newell was averaging 15.2 points per game while leading the MAC conference in rebounding.
As a kid Newell wanted the attention and the glamour that came along with the NBA and now that he’s older he still aspires to play in the league but for different reasons.
“I want to use that as a pedestal to make an impact on the lives of these children, a place where I can effect lives in a positive way. I definitely see coaching in my future when my career is over. That is another way to help the lives of the kids you are coaching off the court.”
Unsure of where God will take him in the next year Newell plans on taking his own best advice by continuing to pray and roll with whatever God has in his will for him
-Written by Sierra Green
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