Cavs Andrew DeClercq is Maturing

 Cav's Andrew DeClercq Is Maturing

by Jon Hanna

Cavalier Forward/Center, Andrew DeClercq finished his collegiate career as the first Florida player in history to accumulate more than 1,300 points. He also ranked second in school history with 176 blocks.

In 1994 he was a member of the USA basketball team which competed in the Goodwill Games in Russia. Today during his second season in Cleveland he is defining his role with the Cav?s organization and discovering the power of his faith.

On February 1st, he spent his 27th birthday by attending team practice in preparation for the game against Washington later that day. He also unselfishly found time to talk to Connection Magazine about his faith.

"He does so much for me in everyday life. He gives me patience. He gives me understanding," DeClercq says of Jesus Christ, unwittingly revealing his spiritual maturity.

Born and raised in Detroit, until age 10, he proudly recalls the time that his mother would take him and his two sisters to a local Southern Baptist Church where he discovered the truth that would profoundly inspire his life. Although at that time DeClercq?s father chose not to participate in his families joining of faith, things are different now.

"Recently my dad started attending church," DeClercq?s voice resonated with joy.

During the busy season of NBA basketball, DeClercq finds support for his faith by attending chapel service before each game. He especially enjoys meeting a lot of players, who are Christians, from other teams. DeClercq added that he is also blessed to have Christian fellowship with Cav?s Forward/Center, Mark Bryant. During the off-season he is active in his hometown church in Clearwater, Florida.

DeClercq feels that Christians in professional sports should be allowed to be vocal about their faith. "Why not talk about Jesus if that?s a big part of your life," he asks.

"There is a truth out there that has always been. Keep searching. When you look at Christ and read your Bible, it?s overwhelming that he is the way," DeClercq declared confidently when asked if he had a message for today?s youth.

DeClercq?s favorite Bible scripture is found in Matthew, chapter 7, verses 13 and 14: "You can enter God?s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small and the road is narrow and only a few ever find it."