Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Former NBA Champion discusses happiness found in Christ

Wayne Simien was living the dream — at least the one he’d formed in his head when he was six years old.

He had grown up watching Roy Williams coach the Kansas men’s basketball with his dad, and after being recruited heavily out of high school, Simien joined Williams and the Jayhawks in 2001.

Even after his sophomore year, Simien had become the “big man on campus” down in Lawrence, Kansas. He and the Jayhawks had made the Final Four in his first year and the national championship in his next, and Simien, in the summer of 2003, was beginning to emerge as one of the top players in the country.

According to societal standards, Simien should’ve been happy. He was one of the best players on one of the most successful college basketball teams in the country, his path seemed to be leading toward the NBA, he was living his childhood dream. But it was all merely a facade. Inside, deep down, Simien was empty and unhappy.

Then, in July of 2003, Simien committed his life to Jesus Christ, and his perspective changed. He began to find true joy in his Lord and Savior…

To read the full story from back in 2005, ‘Faith Healer’ from ESPN, click HERE. To watch Wayne’s testimony via ‘I Am Second’, click HERE. Wayne and his wife Katie began their own ministry, ‘Called to Greatness’, on the campus of Kansas University, where Wayne currently works as a campus director. They have five children — Selah, Rael, Simon, Shepherd and Emmaus.