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Now an NBA Champ, Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets Clings to God’s ‘Divine Plan’

Michael Porter Jr.
All-Pro Reels, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

NBA player Michael Porter Jr., an outspoken Christian, is now a world champion. The fifth-year pro celebrated with his Denver Nuggets teammates Monday night (June 12) as they clinched the first title in the franchise’s 47-year history.

Unfortunately for Porter, or MPJ, shooting woes struck during his appearance on the sport’s biggest stage. The 24-year-old wing out of Missouri struggled throughout the Finals, which Denver won in five games against the Miami Heat.

That shooting funk finally eased a bit Monday night, when MPJ scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. “Just didn’t quit,” he captioned an Instagram photo of him holding the Larry O’Brien championship trophy.

After the victory, head coach Michael Malone was overheard congratulating and encouraging MPJ. “You helped us win a championship,” he told the athlete. “Don’t [say] like, ‘Oh I didn’t make shots.’ We won the championship because of you.”

Amid Uncertainties, MPJ Trusts in God’s ‘Divine Plan’

In the 2018 draft, MPJ fell to number 14 due to a back injury from college. He’s had three back surgeries and missed most of last season. But through all the uncertainty, the basketball player tries to put everything into God’s hands.

After being injured in February 2022, MPJ shared what he called “GOOD NEWS” on Instagram, writing: “There is a good, loving God named Jesus who died for all of us! All we have to do is believe and put our faith in Him!”

“Through all the heartache, adversity, and tough times in life continue to trust in HIM and His divine plan,” MPJ continued. “‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’ Isaiah 55:8-9.”

Before this month’s Finals, MPJ described how he keeps a gratitude journal, tries to “stay in the moment,” and does his work while leaving “the rest up to God.”

The basketball player has said he wants to harness his athletic skills and opportunities for evangelism. “It’s been a dream of mine to influence people for God’s kingdom, because no matter how down I am, I know in the back of my head—God is what matters,” said MPJ. “Getting people to heaven is what matters. It’s been a dream of mine to get as good at basketball as I can. My platform is so big, maybe I can influence a generation. Maybe I can influence thousands, perhaps millions of people. That’s my end dream.”

For MPJ, God Serves as a ‘Stable Source’

Although MPJ grew up in a Christian home, it wasn’t until college when he “finally realized I wanted to choose Jesus and God.” During an appearance last year on the Truth Over Tribe podcast, he described realizing that he wanted to be known as a Christian, even though “I’m not going to be perfect.”