Jewish Journal

Butler’s Brad Stevens: actions, not words

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 19, 2011 | 9:48 pm

I just finished watching the Thunder come back and even the series against the Mavericks. This has been the best NBA Playoffs I can remember, and it’s probably because the excitement of most of the series remind me of March Madness.

There really is nothing like NCAA men’s basketball. And the past two years that has meant rooting for the Butler Bulldogs in two national championship games against basketball programs I loathe.

The coach of the Butler Bulldogs is the babyfaced Brad Stevens, who has perspective on his Christian faith that I share. It also reminds me of a slogan the college roommates had a Vegas a few years ago:

“Don’t talk about it. Be about it.”

That’s also probably a perspective Stevens has for his team on the hardwood, especially after that 18-percent shooting performance against UConn. Rather than preach his faith, Stevens tries to live it. And the Indy Star has a fascinating feature about it:

His mode of operation—having a faith but not trumpeting it—contrasts with a sports faith culture in which baseball hitters cross themselves before every pitch, football players kneel in the end zone for touchdown prayers, and basketball players begin postgame interviews by “giving the glory to God.”

That’s not who Stevens is, and that’s not a very Methodist way of doing things, said his pastor at St. Luke’s, the Rev. Kent Millard.

“One of the things is humility—you don’t boast about your faith,” Millard said. “You don’t talk about it. You don’t wear it on your sleeve. You live it out in your life.”

The story goes on to talk about how the media missed Stevens’ faith but saw in him some they liked. Read the rest here.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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