There’s more to life

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After recently breaking 1,000 career points, Luke Chafin reflects on his faith

Often in Christian universities, students place a negative stigma on college athletes that says they are only there to play sports. One member from the men’s basketball team has a different perspective.

Luke Chafin grew up in Ohio where he found himself in the middle of a family full of ministers.  His parents were both pastors; both of their parents were pastors. Two of his uncles were pastors, another uncle was a worship pastor, his brother was a youth pastor and his sister was on the worship team.

“I got to see so many cool things in the church. However, I like to say that I got to see the good, the bad, and the ugly,” said Chafin.

Chafin’s unique experience with the church caused him to see the positives and negatives that go on behind the scenes of ministry. Some of these negatives started to rub him the wrong way, which led to a slow separation from him and the church.

“It got to a point where all my family was in ministry and I pretty much didn’t want anything to do with it, which then lead me to chase basketball,” said Chafin.

Basketball had always been a huge focal point in Chafin’s life. In fact, the first word that he spoke as a kid was “ball”.  Every day revolved around basketball. With the dream of one day being in the NBA, Chafin pushed himself every day on the court. With the help of his competitive brother, Hank, he was challenged to be good at everything he did in life.

“I had a competitive spirit in me since day one,” said Chafin. “I wanted to be the absolute best that I could be.”

Right out of high school Chafin decided to commit to Bluffton University, a competitive Division III program in Bluffton, Ohio. After only one year he found that basketball was not fulfilling that emptiness in his heart. He realized that he wasn’t plugged into a church and was starting to slip into the temptations of the world.

“I thought, forget this, I don’t even enjoy basketball anymore,” said Chafin.

Chafin then decided to leave Bluffton and stop playing basketball. Back in Ohio, he felt the call to look into North Central University. That was when he realized that basketball alone was not going to fulfill that hole in his life, only God was.

Freshman year at NCU, Chafin found himself standing at Praise Gathering (Wednesday night worship on campus) where he felt the Lord really touching his heart. He then re-dedicated his life to Christ and decided to be all in for the Lord.

Chafin is now a senior at North Central University. According to Chafin, because of his diligence to pursue what the Lord wanted rather than what he wanted, he was blessed with the position as captain on the men’s basketball team.

Chafin pulls up for a jump shot against Crown College.

This season, Chafin has broken the 1,000-point mark for his career at NCU, making him the 21st player in North Central history to pass that mark.

Chafin has found opportunities to pursue ministry within basketball here at NCU. He has started leading the team in a 40-day prayer journey that was developed by Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C.

“We’re meeting weekly and going over this prayer journey together and we are seeing a lot of growth in these players,” said Chafin. “A lot of the school sees what’s happening in the spotlight and what they don’t see is what these guys are doing in the shadows.”

The basketball captain looks forward to seeing his fellow teammates grown and is excited at the opportunity he has to lead them.