Clark Kellogg:
A Real Champion

Clarkkel.jpg (3359 bytes)


by Staff Writer

Clark Kellogg knew fame and adulation as an All-American high school basketball player at St. Joseph in Euclid.

It was much the same for him at Ohio State, where he was one of the nation"s best collegiate players.

And Kellogg knew not only fame, but some fortune, too, as a National Basketball Association star for the Indiana Pacers.

Kellogg knew, too, that something was missing.

"Everybody knows of God, but I didn't know God," Kellogg recently told Connection Magazine.

But in November of 1986, Kellogg accepted Jesus Christ as his Personal Lord and Savior. His wife, Rosy, accepted Jesus at nearly the same time.

"ver a period of six or seven months, once a week in our home, a pastor would share the Word of God with us" Kellogg said."I had been pretty spiritually blank.

"Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

"The Word of God convicted us of our need, that we needed to accept Him on His terms through His Risen Son, Christ." Kellogg now is an analyst for Pacers' games on their local television broadcasts and a basketball commentator for CBS.

He graduated from St. Joseph in 1979. Kellogg scored 28 points per game as a junior and senior, and he set a state record by scoring 51 points in St. Joseph's loss to Columbus East in the 1979 state championship game.

Kellogg started for three years at Ohio State. He was named the Big Ten's Most Valuable Player for his junior year, the 1981-82 season. Several weeks later, the Pacers selected Kellogg with the eighth pick in the NBA draft.

During his first three seasons with the Pacers, Kellogg was one of the NBA's premier power forwards. He played in 237 of a possible 246 games and averaged 19.3 points and 9.7 rebounds. Kellogg could score with his strong inside play, by driving to the basket or with his jump shot.

Early in the 1985-86 season, though, Kellogg sustained a major injury to his left knee. He played 19 games that season, then retired after playing four games the following season.

It was at about the time of his retirement that Kellogg accepted Jesus Christ as his Personal Lord and Savior.

"It was after my third knee operation," Kellogg said. "I had been exposed to the Gospel through a local pastor who did the Pacers' Chapel services.

?I had my knee injury. My wife sensed we didn?t have all the pieces together in our lives. There was my sense of wondering. And there was gratitude for what we had been blessed with. All of these things worked together to draw me to the Lord.??

Kellogg?s personal relationship with Jesus Christ has meant everything to him.

"First, there's security ? eternally ? knowing that you?re in the right relationship with God," Kellogg said. "There's life after death.

"It gives you a perspective, too, on how to go about living as a husband, a father, a man. There's a solid, unchangeable foundation in terms of your role as a husband, a father and as a man seeking to grow and to know God better."

Clark and Rosy live in Columbus with their daughter, Talisa, 11, and their sons, Alex, 8, and Nicholas, 6.

Kellogg is active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Ohio and Indiana, and with the Ohio chapter of Athletes in Action. He often gets to share his faith in Christ during speaking engagements, sometimes at youth camps or with church youth groups.

All NBA teams hold Chapel services before every game. Kellogg recently gave the message at Chapel before a Cavaliers-Pacers playoff game in Cleveland. From 1988 to 1992, when he lived in Indianapolis, Kellogg often led the Pacers' Chapel service.

Each person needs Jesus Christ. There is a need, certainly, for Jesus Christ in the life of every professional basketball player.

"It gives a balance and a perspective on how to deal with the status that some people want to give a player," Kellogg said. "One of the first issues that you have to deal with when you come to Christ is pride and humility. I think a relationship with Christ essentially keeps you humble because you know where you come from.

That relationship helps you understand your stewardship. You know that your gifts are from God, the Creator. It helps you relate to other people and helps you know how to handle any success, trials and tribulations, how to handle resources, financial and otherwise.

"Professional players have a tremendous platform because of their visibility. When you know Christ, you understand how all that you have belongs to Him. "