Christian Athlete of the Week: Elton Brand

Atlanta Hawks power forward Elton Brand has had a very long career in the NBA. He played college at Duke and was the number one overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He had two very successful seasons with the Bulls, averaging a double-double in both seasons. He then got traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2001 and ended up becoming the first Clipper to make the All-Star team since Danny Manning did it in 1994. In 2003, Brand received a big-money contract that kept him as a Clipper till 2008. During his time with the Clippers, he averaged at least 20 points a game for four straight seasons. His 2005-06 season was the best of his career. During that year, the New York native averaged 24.7 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. The first seven seasons of Brand’s career were memorable, however, a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon in 2007 caused him to miss too many games and it affected the rest of his career. He would go on to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Dallas Mavericks and is now currently with the Atlanta Hawks, who were just beaten in Game Seven of the playoffs by the Indiana Pacers. Brand has become more of a bench player now, he averaged 5.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this season and he only started 15 games.

Despite not being a superstar during the second half of his 14-year career, Brand has always been strong in his faith and believes that God bless him a lot considering the circumstances. Sure Brand has never been on a winning team and never won the MVP award on the court, but he was also regarded as a great role model off the court. Brand has always had a great relationship with his mother. Here’s what former Clippers chaplain Robert L. Cummings had to say about Elton Brand and his loving relationship with his mom.

You’ll see Elton give kisses to his mom, see the way he interacts with everybody, see her, and know this all comes from a strong Christian background and her love for him,” Cummings said. (Credit: The Gathering Place)

Elton Brand was raised by his single mother in New York and grew up in a Christian environment. He also started the Elton Brand Foundation in the spring of 2000. His foundation is an organization that provides support to worthy causes in Chicago, Illinois; Peekskill, New York; and Durham, North Carolina. His humble and quiet walk with God has definitely made an impact on the players around him. He doesn’t proclaim his love for Christ in a very annoying “I’m holier you thou” attitude and he’s been known to be one of the kindest and nicest players in the NBA. Hopefully Brand can bounce back next year and be a part of a championship winning team.


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