Shows reveals Godly game plan

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, April 21, 2011

At 6 feet, 7.5 inches tall and wearing a size 15 shoe,Brookhaven’s Bobby Shows looks like he could move mountains andstill slam-dunk. However, the basketball star is keeping his feetplanted and using his faith to move athletes.

On Wednesday, Shows posted up at the Lincoln County PublicLibrary to sign his book, “God’s Game Plan For Young Athletes,” andto converse with old friends.

“Years ago I realized sports was a medium of communication thatis unique,” said Shows. “So many people are involved insports.”

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“God’s Game Plan For Young Athletes,” also edited by Dr. JamesO. Preston, serves as a biblical resource. The insightful book isbroken into five sections – attitude, character, competition, faithand teamwork – and answers dozens of questions or concerns throughscripture that many athletes might have.

“It’s written for children, but used for coaches of whoever,”said Shows.

The Brookhaven High School graduate is a more than suitablecandidate to minister through sports.

After his years as a Panther, Shows accepted a basketballscholarship to Mississippi State University and went on to winthree Southeastern Conference titles while a Bulldog.

He played in the historic MSU versus Loyola Chicago NCAAtournament game, which broke racial barriers in college basketball.He also was an assistant coach to a MSU freshmen team in 1964 andcoached at Louisville High School in 1965 and 1966. He has servedas a minister of sports recreation at various churches for 26years.

However, he said it was his sophomore year at MSU when hedevoted his life to Christ and began using his athletic ability toreach people, despite being the 13th man on a 13-man roster. Showslearned that he did not have to do anything special to lead peopleto Christ, just use his natural talents.

“God made it clear to me you don’t have to do anything,” saidShows.

After a year of working hard, he was named the starting centerand MSU went 24-1 and was ranked second in the nation.

His book, which has been out since January, is perhaps part of abigger purpose.

The proceeds from his book will go toward his ministry, SportsCrusaders. Sports Crusaders became a faith ministry in 2001 inMissouri, where Shows served as a consultant to the MissouriBaptist Convention.

The ministry takes college level or college equivalent athletesall over the world and serves roughly 2,500 to 3,000 kids in theUnited States.

“The difference is we bring the sports camp to the child,” saidShows.

While Shows may have retired in 2008, ministering through sportsis one thing he cannot get away from.

“You can retire from a job, but you can’t retire from yourlife,” said Shows. “This has been my life. I don’t want to quitdoing it.”