Athlete Profiles:

Aaron Cook / Amaury Telemaco

These are tales from the brink. These are how two pro pitchers escaped death- one spiritual and one physical.

On August 7, 2004, Aaron Cook of the Colorado Rockies was warming up and was unable to catch his breath correctly. "The trainers couldn't figure out what was going on, so they sent me to the hospital for tests." After a few of those tests, doctors told him he had multiple blood clots in each lung. "In the hospital I was able to spend some good time with my family, and we discussed how God has a plan in everything...That lifted a big burden off my shoulders, knowing that if I can't control it, God's got it in His hands..."

Amaury Telemaco, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, was 17 years old when he'd had enough of watching his parents and grandparents practice voodoo. Telemaco's sister led him to Jesus. "...She told me that Jesus was there and that Jesus paid the price for me," he recalls. Telemaco's off-seasons are spent preaching the gospel whenever and wherever he can. "Whatever (God) wants me to do, I will do. Wherever He wants me to go, I will go. It's not what Amaury Telemaco wants, it's what Jesus wants."

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Tim Tebow

As the current quarterbacks for the last two national championship teams, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow have taken center stage in two of the most intensely scrutinized college football programs in America. Even as sophomores, this concept is not lost on McCoy and Tebow. They know they are being watched. They also know that with the immediate access they have to so many people, the opportunities to be a model and a spokesperson for Jesus Christ are preeminent. "In some places it's not the cool thing to do or the popular thing to be and God is not No. 1," says McCoy.

Tebow and McCoy were both hatched from close-knit, deeply Christian upbringings that saw them come to faith at an early age. Tim Tebow's fater, Bob Tebow, heads the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association, which claims to be the conduit of close to 9 million people coming to faith in Christ in the last 8 years.

An NFL career is a goal for both of these young quarterbacks, but they are realistic enough to know there are no guarantees. McCoy looks forward to what God has in store. "God willing, I'd like to be in the NFL, but the important thing to do is His will."

Shaun Alexander

Whether Shaun Alexander spends his Sunday morning wearing a football jersey on a field or a suit in a pew, he's the same guy. "Shaun is a Christian 24/7," says close friend and teammate Mack Strong. "He's a great example. It's a testimony to him, to God."

Alexander has made a lasting name for himself in the NFL. The accomplishments and praises he's received are only dreams for many. He's not surprised by his success; he's always set lofty goals and worked hard. Now he's a household name, but he says, "This is no time to say, 'Look at me.'" That's because, for Alexander, it's not just about football. "I play football to make a difference in people's lives."

The difference he wants to make is a difference for Christ. He has a heart for providing hope, especially for youth, and giving to others as unto the Lord. That's the purpose of his foundation and the community center he started with his brother. "You can't outgive God," he says.

The best day in his life? Being valedictorian of his graduating class? Setting NFL records? Becoming 2005 MVP? No. "It was the first time I led someone to Christ," says Alexander. What else would we expect?

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