Despite arguably the best game of Oscar Tshiebwe’s career, No. 6 Kentucky lost a tough road game Saturday against No. 18 Arkansas, 75-73. Tshiebwe matched his career high with 30 points, and also added 18 rebounds, further extending his lead as the nation’s best rebounder (15.3 per game).
The loss dropped the Wildcats into a tie for second place in the SEC with Arkansas and Tennessee, all of whom stand at 12-4 in conference play, behind 13-3 Auburn. As the season enters its final week of the regular season, teams are jockeying to gain better seeds for conference tournaments and ultimately the NCAA Tournament.
None of that kept Tshiebwe from preaching on Sunday.
A day after returning home from the tough loss at Arkansas, the 22-year-old junior from the Democratic Republic of the Congo took the stage at Broadway Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky, to share about his faith in Christ. Wearing a hoodie that read “Seek Jesus,” one of the leading candidates for national player of the year shared a message from Daniel 3 in the Bible.
— Big O (@Oscartshiebwe34) February 28, 2022
He also shared, “We don’t need to fight for eternal life with God. It is a free gift from Christ. We already believe. Lots of people say you have to do this or you have to do this to enter the Kingdom of God — no. We just need to believe and trust in God. We have to surrender ourselves to God. We have to obey His Word.”
— Broadway Baptist Church (@BroadwayLex) February 28, 2022
Sharing about his faith is quite common for Tshiebwe, who is in his first season with Kentucky after transferring from West Virginia. His Twitter and Instagram feeds are filled with declarations of his faith.
If you pray to God regularly, irregular things will happen on a regular basis.
— Big O (@Oscartshiebwe34) February 27, 2022
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor🙏🏽♥️
— Big O (@Oscartshiebwe34) February 26, 2022
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“For me, being in this place, it is a blessing,” he said last April. “It is hard work and believing in God because the best gifts always come from God.”
Tshiebwe has certainly been a gift to Kentucky, which is line for a top seed in the NCAA Tournament after it missed the tourney all together last season with an uncharacteristic 9-16 record. UK slipped to No. 7 in the latest AP poll after its loss Saturday — a day that turned out to be the first ever in which seven top-10 men’s teams lost on the same day.
The Wildcats are back in action Tuesday night as they host Ole Miss, and then travel to face Florida in the regular-season finale on Saturday.
— Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe ‘so thankful to God’ that mother will get to see him play
— Oscar Tshiebwe, nation’s leading rebounder, thankful for God’s guidance to Kentucky
— Illinois star Kofi Cockburn trusting God’s plan as he leads Illini in Big Ten title chase
— UNC coach Hubert Davis reaches 20 wins with Christ as ‘foundation of who I am’
— Rick Barnes sends daily prayer to ESPN’s Dick Vitale: ‘God is using him in a great way’
— Tennessee men’s basketball star Kennedy Chandler grateful for God’s blessings