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The former NBA All-Star enlightens crowd of 100 during visit to Molalla's Church of the Nazarene

by: JIM BESEDA/MOLALLA PIONEER - Former NBA All-Star forward AC Green was the keynote speaker during Saturday's 'Turn Up The Heat' youth camp at Molalla's Church of the Nazarene.Ty Delbridge already knew the story of AC Green, the former Pac-10 Player of the Year with Oregon State and a former NBA All-Star and three-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He was less familiar with the story of Green’s off-the-court life -- a story of faith, hope, purpose, destiny, and “living a championship life” based on Christian values.

Green shared his life’s story during an emotionally-charged, 90-minute presentation in front of more than 100 teenagers who attended Saturday’s “Turn Up The Heat” day camp at Molalla’s Church of the Nazarene.

“What a great role model,” said Delbridge, a junior at Molalla High School. “It was a great performance. I wish more people would have been here to witness it, but it was real powerful.

“I’m really glad I came, and what he said will stick with me for a long time.”

Green, 50, spoke about a playing career that started at Portland’s Benson High School and then moved to Oregon State before reaching the NBA where he spent 16 seasons, playing for the Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.

Early in his presentation, he talked about former Benson coach Dick Gray being “the first person I could really recall that spoke words of hope, purpose and destiny in my life.by: JIM BESEDA/MOLALLA PIONEER - Former Oregon State standout AC Green won three NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He (Gray) saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. And that’s really the first person that God used in my life as a teenager to move me more toward His purpose.”

Green then went into detail about the church service in Hermiston that he attended on Aug. 2, 1981, at age 17, when he said he was “born again” and his life took on a new direction. He also cited a number of Bible verses, including 1 Timothy 4:12, Psalm 37:3, and 1 Peter 1:15.

“Destiny is a set up,” Green said. “I wasn’t born just to be an NBA player. I wasn’t born just to be an Oregon State Beaver. I wasn’t born just to be a Benson Techman. It’s all a process. And understand, it’s a process that’s going on in your life just as well.

“Life doesn’t end and it never began because I had a basketball in my hand. You feel me? How you see yourself this day is one of the most important things. If you see yourself as being ‘just,’ then we’ve got a problem, because God never designed a ‘just.’ There’s no limitations with Him.”

Green, who has a degree in speech communications, works as a consultant in several other industries. He directs most of his energies toward the AC Green Youth Foundation and speaking engagements that concentrate character building, religious education, and health and wellness.

“What I thought was powerful was AC gave his testimony based on what he lived,” Church of the Nazarene lead pastor Steve Sanchez said. “The young people and all of the adults that were here could grab ahold of something he said that they can relate to in their everyday living.

“It was valuable on a lot of levels, but more than anything, it was a grass-roots message delivered by a local hero, really. Across the board, it was excellent, and we’re grateful that on a Saturday in May we’ve maybe made an impact on some young people.”

-- Jim Beseda/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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