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Lakers great A.C. Green to speak locally

NBA champion A.C. Green offers a message of hope this weekend at Real Life Church in Santa Clarita

Posted: April 5, 2013 10:41 p.m.
Updated: April 5, 2013 10:41 p.m.

Los Angeles Lakers forward A.C. Green, left, pulls down a rebound in front of Denver Nuggets forward Keon Clark, in the first quarter March 13, 2000, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

A.C. Green is famous for his moves on the basketball court as a power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers. Off the court he is renowned for his Christian ethics and advocating abstinence.

Today he uses his platform as an NBA superstar to inspire others and this weekend he joins Real Life Church to bring a message of hope to Santa Clarita.

“Confidence, resolve and courage”
Besides playing for the Lakers, A.C. Green played for the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. He won three NBA Championship titles with the Lakers in 1987, 1988 and 2000 and has shared the court with many basketball greats, including Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Kobe Bryant.

He eventually earned the nickname “Iron Man” after playing the most consecutive games in NBA history – 1,192 games to be exact. His talent and love for basketball made him a great player, but his commitment to his faith is what helps him connect with youth around the world.

Green came to know Christ while in high school in 1981. After dedicating his life to God, he also made a commitment to practice abstinence. A commitment he held steadfast for more than 20 years, even after reaching NBA stardom, until he was married in 2002.

Now he uses his story to encourage youth to stay focused and practice abstinence, even when faced with peer pressure, much like he did while in the NBA. A task many may think was difficult but that he calls “easy.”

“It was something I kept practicing,” he shared in an interview on Thursday. “Practice helps build confidence, resolve and courage at the same time you can have a greater confidence in your faith. It was a habit, habits create patterns, patterns turn into a lifestyle.”

Green also shared what an important role faith has played in his life and career as a basketball star. He credits God for giving him the talent and providing him with the opportunity to play in the NBA and alongside so many talented players.

“It reiterates the goodness of God,” he said about his NBA career. “He allowed me to come into the midst of greatness and be a part of history. It was phenomenal playing against so many of the greats, I am very blessed.”

Come Back Weekend
Real Life Church began hosting notable speakers the Sunday after Easter as an opportunity to offer people who visited the church for the first time on Easter, another reason to come back.

“We hope people can hear his story, see how real his faith is and see how much it impacted his career,” said Senior Pastor Rusty George. “If someone so successful, a former Laker, feels he needs God and is a benefit to his life, it must be a benefit to us as well.”

Each year they offer compelling speakers in lieu of a sermon to draw people back to church. Last year they invited former mobster turned Christian speaker, Michael Franzese. This year the church felt A.C. Green’s story was meaningful and his connection to Southern California as a former Laker would really connect with the community.

Green also shared his motivation for speaking to congregations. He said he simply wants to share a message of hope, the belief that anything is possible and to stay on the path of faith.

“I really want people to know there is a brighter day coming,” said Green. “There is so much negativity and challenges that people face, but there is hope for tomorrow.”

A.C. Green will speak at the Saturday service at 5 p.m., Sunday at 8:30, 10 and 11:30 a.m. and Sunday night at 5 p.m. Real Life is located at 23841 Newhall Ranch Road.



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