Summer 2024

College basketball star Hailey Van Lith gets baptized, aims to 'offer my life to serve Jesus'

Hailey Van Lith figures to be a key factor in LSU’s hopes of repeating as women’s college basketball national champions. But before suiting up for her final season, the star graduate transfer from the University of Louisville made a bold decision in her faith journey.

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She got baptized, and posted about the occasion on her Instagram story Monday.

“Best day of my life,” she posted in the first of a series of five photos from the baptism. In the last photo she wrote, “My greatest success in life is to offer my life to serve Jesus.”

Hailey Van Lith

(Photos via Instagram/@haileyvanlith)

An honorable mention All-American last season and one of the most recognizable players in women’s college basketball, Van Lith has shared about her faith publicly, both in interviews and on social media. Her Instagram bio references 1 Peter 5:6, which says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

In March, following a season-ending loss in the 2023 NCAA Tournament to eventual national runner-up Iowa, Van Lith was asked by reporters where her motivation comes from. Would not reaching the Final Four serve as motivation for both her and her teammates? Did being selected as an honorable mention All-American feel like a snub and would that serve as further motivation?

“I’ll be completely honest — I’m not motivated by external factors,” she said. “I’m motivated by myself and I always have been. If we would’ve won the national championship this year, I would’ve had the same amount of motivation in me and that’s just who I am.

“I’m not motivated at all by the fact that they named me honorable mention. I know who I am and I know what God thinks I am. God doesn’t think I’m an honorable mention, I’ll tell you that right now. I don’t need external motivation. I’m internally motivated.”

After graduating from Louisville in May, she gave glory to God in an Instagram post that quoted Isaiah 41:9-10. The post read, “This moment is to glorify God in all of His goodness. He is the one true love.”

 

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A post shared by HVL (@haileyvanlith)

Van Lith averaged 19.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game last season at Louisville. This summer, she helped Team USA win the gold medal in the 3-on-3 FIBA World Cup.

A likely top-10 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, Van Lith emerged as one of the best players in the country and decided to transfer to LSU after graduating from Louisville. Her presence, along with star Angel Reese, makes the Tigers the likely favorite to win the national championship next season.

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