Clemson star PJ Hall can't thank Jesus enough 'for what He's done for me'

There was a point during Clemson’s Feast Week tournament last season when PJ Hall remembers thinking that all he wanted was to get away. He was emotionally exhausted and still working his way back from a series of injuries.

Hall had unexpectedly lost a close family friend named David Renwick right before the tournament. Renwick was the father of Hall’s girlfriend, Anna, and one of the most influential people in his life.

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But the two-time All-ACC selection found a way to keep going. He relied on his faith in God to navigate through all the pain and grief.

“He’s gotten me through some incredibly tough times and there’s going to be more along the way,” Hall told WYFF in January. “You always have to enjoy the mountaintops and find your way through the valley. I can’t thank God and Jesus enough for what He’s done for me.”


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Finally healthy, Hall is now the leading scorer for the Tigers, who are in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for just the second time since 1997. He is averaging 18.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, which earned him first-team All-ACC honors.

Hall battled foul trouble and contributed 11 points in No. 6-seed Clemson’s 72-64 upset of No. 3-seed Baylor on Sunday. The Tigers have been underdogs in both their NCAA Tournament games, but won them by a combined 29 points anyway.

Following Friday’s win over New Mexico, Hall told the media that he and his teammates were not going to let other people’s predictions and opinions become a distraction.

“Whenever we hear that outside noise — obviously we want to prove people wrong, but once you start focusing on the outside stuff that’s when you get astray from your game plan,” he said. “You have to focus on your own agenda and your own style of play and just have some poise.”

Hall is especially focused because his career as a Clemson star is likely nearing its end. He was a four-star recruit at Dorman High School in Spartanburg, South Carolina, about an hour east of Clemson. He chose to stay home for college, and technically has another year of eligibility because of the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season. But after four years, he’s now an NBA draft prospect.

He gave a heartfelt speech on Clemson’s senior night, during which he thanked his family, girlfriend, and many others. He also reiterated that he’s a “firm believer in Christ.”


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One of the other ways Hall publicly shares his faith is adding Psalm 108:13 to autographs when he has time. The verse declares that “with God we will gain the victory.” He even learned a bit of the impact that scripture had on someone when, a month before this season started, Anna’s mother, Susan, sent him a picture of one of her friend’s children reading the verse because of his autograph.

“I was like, geez, it’s crazy that I have this platform at 21 to spread the Word of God,” Hall told the Post and Courier in November. “He didn’t put me on this platform for no reason. Without a doubt in my mind, I’m definitely on the right track.”

A victory against No. 2-seed Arizona on Thursday night would send Clemson to the Elite Eight for just the second time in program history. Not many people thought the Tigers would get this far, but simply reaching the NCAA Tournament was never the objective for Hall.

“Going into this tournament we knew that wasn’t a goal of ours to get to the tournament,” he said in Friday’s press conference. “That was an expectation. Especially the talent, the experience and the veterans on this team that we have, we were very excited to obviously get here. But now it’s time to continue to work.”

Clemson and Arizona tip off at 7:09 p.m. ET on CBS. The winner faces either Alabama or North Carolina.

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