Athlete Profiles:

Garret Anderson

Many people confuse his quiet, easy-going attitude with being distant and difficult to get along with. But a look into the life of this Southern California native reveals why Garret Anderson seems very different from a lot of other professional athletes, as a player and as a Christian.

Although he's often seen as quiet, shy, and maybe even aloof, Anderson is quite the opposite around those closest to him. He can be very talkative and outgoing, especially with his wife and three children. Sometimes those who disapprove of his quiet nature also critique his game harshly. "You're always going to have critics," says Anderson. "I try not to ever let things like that bother me. Let's face it, as athletes and even as Christians we're always under a microscope. It's something I've accepted."

Anderson certainly silenced the mouths of those who judged him after helping the Anaheim Angels win the 2002 World Series against the San Francisco Giants. He has come a long way from his tough childhood to his success as a ball player. Not even Anderson is sure where things will lead him, but he is certain that God has great plans for him as he continues his walk with Christ.

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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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