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When Tim Allston thinks about basketball, it’s not just fast breaks, slam dunks, and alley-oops, but — through divine inspiration — an opportunity to draw people to Jesus Christ. He explains his unorthodox approach in his new book, Where Jump Shots Meet Jesus.

“My hope is that this book will make the Bible, and the teachings of Christ, more applicable in people’s lives,” Allston said in a recent interview. “For those who like sports, but don’t really know Christ, this is a way to get to know Him.”

A fourth-generation Seventh-day Adventist, Allston said there were three incidents over a period of time that helped inspire the book’s creation. The first was in December of 1989. While in a Huntsville, Alabama, barber shop, he picked up a copy of Esquire magazine and read an article that asked several famous individuals “the book to read” for the upcoming decade of 1990. The response that stuck with him was Oprah Winfrey’s, who said the Bible. “She said ‘every answer to every question that man could ever pose has already been answered [in the Bible],’” recalled Allston.

Then in 2019, he was listening to John Nixon Sr., D.Min., lecture to a group of theology majors, and heard the prominent Adventist pastor tell the future ministers, “Jesus Christ is in every single verse in the Bible; if you can’t find Him in that verse, don’t preach it.”

But, Allston said it was an encounter about two years ago at Synovus Bank in Huntsville that gave him the affirmation he needed. In a conversation with a bank assistant, he mentioned that he was considering writing a book that intersects basketball and the Bible. The assistant then told him, “Tim, you do know that basketball originated in a YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) gymnasium.”

“I had forgotten that! I was blown away!” said Allston. “The fact that basketball was invented in a gymnasium for the Young Men’s Christian Association — that became all the alley-oop that I needed.”

Additionally, he reflected on what Winfrey said about the Bible, and Nixon’s statement on Christ being in every verse of the Bible. Allston then began to develop the foundation of the book, which includes parallels between principles winning NBA teams used to become dynasties — like the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chicago Bulls, and the Golden State Warriors — and principles Christ used to lead his disciples.

For instance, Allston said just like Jesus taught his “disciple-players” about servant leadership, successful NBA teams teach their players to “serve your teammates rather than first being served; and by serving them first, they’ll score, and you’ll get the assist!”

Such comparisons Allston has branded as “NBA 2.0,” for New Bible Advocacy.

“I believe that Jesus can be found in winning NBA championship dynasties,” he said. “Because when you start to think about Jesus as the consummate leader, and the consummate manager, that leadership and that management mantra permeates every area of our lives.”

Allston said he’s hopeful the concept of overlapping winning NBA championship dynasties with biblical best practices, and player-coach Jesus Christ will help win souls for the Kingdom.

“For those in need of a spiritual assist, I’m offering an alley-oop — to Christ.”

To learn more about what Tim Allston is doing to win souls for Christ, visit

is a freelance writer who lives in Nashville, Tennessee.SOUTHERN UNION | MARCH 2024

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