Summer 2024

Marvin Bagley III says he's grateful to God every day as he prepares for NBA Draft

The 2018 NBA Draft will take place Thursday in Brooklyn, N.Y. The spotlight will be on which prospects will become the next great professional basketball player.

For Marvin Bagley III, the 2018 ACC Player of the Year, the NBA dream is about to become a reality.

The 19-year-old forward from Duke is set to be a top-five pick this week. ESPN’s latest mock draft has him going No. 2 overall to the Sacramento Kings.

Also important to Bagley is his faith in Jesus Christ. On the CBS Sports Flagrant Two podcast in late November, Bagley shared about where that faith comes from.

“I believed in Jesus forever,” Bagley said. “Since I was born, as a young kid, I heard gospel music around the house. My mom taught me, went to church. I believe that if it wasn’t for Him (Jesus) I wouldn’t even be here doing what I do. I wouldn’t even have this talent if it wasn’t for Him.”

RELATEDFab Freshmen of Faith: Marvin Bagley III, Duke University

Bagley, whose Instagram page says “Without Jesus, I am nothing,” says he makes sure he tells the Lord how grateful he is each and every day.

“I just thank God every single day before I go to sleep, just say a prayer, just keep thanking Him for these gifts because I still can’t believe I’m playing basketball and doing this. I’m just blessed man. I can’t take anything for granted.”

Staying grounded and not being full of himself is something Bagley says is important to him.

“That’s where Jesus comes in,” Bagley said. “I read the Bible and He says not to be cocky. If you’re good at something, let other people talk about you. That’s not my place to talk about if I’m good at basketball. It’s not my place to talk on Twitter and Instagram about how I play the game very well. I don’t like making it about me. Basketball could end any day. I just thank God because anything could happen at any moment.”

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” — Proverbs 27:2

The NBA Draft kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

– Fab Freshmen of Faith: Trae Young, University of Oklahoma
– Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes lives his life for the Lord
– Michigan State’s Miles Bridges using basketball to point people back to Jesus