Home Christian News Christian NBA Player Michael Porter Jr. Feels Teammates’ Support After Tough Week...

Christian NBA Player Michael Porter Jr. Feels Teammates’ Support After Tough Week for His Family

michael porter jr
Screenshot from YouTube / @CuriousMike

Just before the NBA postseason kicked off, Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. experienced what one headline described as a “week from hell.” Days before the reigning-champ Nuggets faced the Los Angeles Lakers in round one of the Western Conference playoffs, two of Porter’s younger brothers were in the news.

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

On April 17, fellow basketball player Jontay Porter, 24, was banned from the NBA for life for betting on pro games—including ones involving his own team, the Toronto Raptors. And on April 19, Coban Porter, 22, was sentenced to six years in prison for last year’s drunken driving crash that killed a Colorado woman.

Michael Porter Jr., nicknamed MPJ, testified at Coban’s sentencing on Friday. The next night, he scored 19 points and nabbed eight rebounds in the Nuggets’ game-one victory against the Lakers. In the locker room afterward, the sixth-year pro addressed how he’s been coping with all the challenges.

Teammates Are Also ‘Brothers’ to Michael Porter Jr.

Michael Porter Jr., an outspoken Christian, is accustomed to facing adversity. The 25-year-old has faced serious injury setbacks in both college and the pros. But last week was a severe test of what the athlete calls his mental toughness.

“I’ve been through a lot through my whole career,” said MPJ. Playing at the end of a difficult week for his family “was another one of those things I had to play through.”

Asked how he managed to play so well Saturday, MPJ told reporters, “Definitely tried to compartmentalize, some bad and sad stuff happened to a couple of my brothers.

“But I got, you know, 15, 16 more brothers in here,” he said. “So I knew I had to be here for them and come in here and do my job and try to prepare to do it at a high level.”

Each of his teammates had texted MPJ last week, he said, telling him “they got my back if I needed anything.” That was “big for me,” said MPJ, especially when he missed practice Friday to attend Coban’s sentencing.

Nuggets teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope praised MPJ for being able to focus on basketball. “For his mindset to be where it is, I applaud him,” he said. “As a brother, we’re going to keep him straight.”

RELATED: How NBA Chaplains Took Jesus to Indianapolis During All-Star Weekend

After Saturday’s victory, Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was asked about MPJ. “That’s why basketball is such a beautiful thing, that you don’t think about nothing except what’s going on on the floor,” Jokic said. “Before and after, of course, the stuff hits you, but we all reached out to him…Of course, family is the first thing, but we are some kind of family too. Hopefully he’s going to find peace and be in a good spot mentally.”

MPJ Places His Life in God’s Hands

As ChurchLeaders has reported, MPJ is vocal about his Christian faith and his “end dream” of reaching people for Christ. Evangelism is important to him, he’s said, because “God is what matters. Getting people to heaven is what matters.”