Faith Matters: Geoff Henderson

March 15, 2014 

Every so often when listening to sports talk on the radio, I'll actually come across something rather redemptive.

As I drove down 26th Street West a few weeks ago, I heard (sports talk show host) Jim Rome open up the interview with Creighton basketball coach Greg McDermott: "So the best college basketball player this year can't even get a scholarship?"

Rome was jocularly referring to the coach's son, Doug McDermott.

Whether or not Doug is indeed the best in college basketball today, considering him as such doesn't seem like a stretch in the least. The All-American led the nation in shots made for the last two seasons: 307 in 2011-12 and 284 in 2012-13. He just became only the seventh player in college basketball history to score more than 3,000 points.

Why does arguably the best player in basketball not have a scholarship?

Why does his family have to pay the tuition of $30,000 to $40,000 this year?

The NCAA, albeit fairly late in the process, allowed one of his teammates and dear friends Grant Gibbs, a sixth year of eligibility. Scholarships had already been disperseed, however, leaving Gibbs the odd man out.

So Doug McDermott decided to offer up his own scholarship to Gibbs.

Now should McDermott get drafted by the National Basketball Association after this season, as seems certain, his college tuition dollar debt will not look so daunting.

Yet still, nothing is guaranteed.

Possibly the best player in college basketball is paying (or rather his parents are) for his college education.

How many players would give up their scholarship for a friend?

How many students heading into a lucrative profession would do that for a friend?

Doug's love cost him.

Loving others is costly, or it's just not love; it's just helping until it hurts. Most of us (and I obviously mean myself!) draw the line for serving, helping or giving at the point where it actually requires a sacrifice.

I can do this much, but if I were to do that, then I would be "out" something.

Time, money or comfort. Love always costs something.

In fact, love that don't cost a thing, ain't worth a thing.

In my opinion the most amazing thing about Christianity is that in order to save a people, Jesus in a sense, gives up his scholarship. He comes down and pays his own way for a people who can't pay theirs.

Regardless of what one thinks about Christianity, one cannot deny its unique place among religions in that it actually costs God to save people. No other religion can say that.

Just like with the McDermotts, what costs the Son, costs the Father.

I can only imagine how grateful Gibbs must feel to come back and play a sixth season (several others had been cut short by injury) at the expense of his friend. Because it cost someone to love him, I would imagine he has become more willing to love sacrificially.

It shouldn't be any different for the Christian.

Pastor Geoff Henderson, of Harbor Community Church can be reached at or go to or Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday's Herald written by local clergy members.

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