Athlete Profiles:

Dan Naulty

Dan Naulty was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. When he added over 50 pounds of bulk and muscle to his 185-pound, 6'6'' body and his fastball increased almost 10 mph, people knew there was something going on. But those in the baseball arena largely turned a blind eye to the evidence. That is, until Naulty came clean.

Steroids, amphetamines, and other drugs had ruined him in many ways. When he should have been on the top of the world after winning the 1999 World Series with the NY Yankees, he was instead contemplating suicide. But he began to notice the steady faith of some of his Christian teammates. They showed him the love and support he needed. Because of the difference he saw in them, he knew he wanted what they had, which led to him accepting Christ as his Savior in 2000.

Since then, Naulty has gotten married, had kids, earned more degrees, and shared his powerful testimony countless times. His entire life vision has been transformed, as evidenced by the fact that he can now say, "I've come to realize that my identity is wrapped up in Christ, in the Holy Spirit, in total forgiveness."


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Tim Tebow

TEBOW / MCCOY
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

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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