Know Your Rebels: Roger Powell, Jr.
April 8, 2005

Rebel: Roger Powell, Jr.

Age: 22

Representing: Joilet, IL

Status: Recently graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, star forward on one of the winningest college basketball teams in the nation.

Why You Should Fear Him: This man could've made even the diehard UNC Tarheel fan root for Illinois. Standing at 6'-6" Powell is more than just a star forward for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Nicknamed by his teammates as "The Rev," he's a star off the court too.

Powell's biggest accomplishment? A transformed life. Growing up in a Christian home, Powell got to college and admittedly struggled maintaining the lifestyle standard he knew was right. He joined the university's "Fellowship of Christian Athletes" and that was the beginning of his turn around. He is now proud to say he lives his faith in public via his actions.

Bold about his faith both on and off the court. You'll recall his first words when being interviewed immediately after defeating Kentucky in the Final Four were, "I'd like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (and said it without scantily clad women dancing in his music video too). At age 22, Powell became a licenced minister last October at his home church, Mt. Zion Full Gospel Tabernacle.

The latest NCAA campaign proclaims, "There are more than 300,000 student athletes in the NCAA and almost all of us will go pro in something other than sports." Case and point, Roger Powell. Breaking the myth that most black college ball players try to go pro, Powell went a different route. He went to seminary.

After graduating early in December with a Bachelors degree in speech communication, he started courses at Urbana Theological Seminary on his way to earning a Masters in Theology.

Powell wants to go into full-time ministry with his platform being basketball. With the respect of his teammates, Powell has been deemed "real" by everyone who knows him.

It's nice to see some authenticity in a world of phoniness.

- "Straight Shooter", published by the Fellowship of Christian Atheletes
- Fighting Illini Player Bio Page
- "Basketball Player GLorifies God" - Charisma News Service
- "Q&A w/ Roger Powell - Daily Illini
- "Soulful inspiration guides Powell to lead Illinois" - Palm Beach Post

Past Rebels: Taylor Moore, Ben Shapiro, Erika Harold, Farrah Gray, Hans Zeiger, Adam Hunter, Dwight Howard, Sheri Valera, Princella Smith

Posted by Ambra at April 8, 2005 11:50 AM in Know Your Rebels
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Are blacks allowed to be good? I know he isn't acting white, because most of us whites are not that good.

Now THAT is a very cool story. Lord willing Mr Powell will continue to serve well in the public eye.

Must one be a Christian or religious in any way to be deemed "good"?

I believe that good can exist without theism. So why is it always that because someone is going to be a minister or a preacher that they are "good"? I am pretty sure there are a bunch of them accused of child molestation if memory serves me right.

(P.s. - I read your site all the time. I don't agree with a lot of it, but at least you saying what you believe and that's all that matters.)

Well Ambra this diehard Tarheel fan has much respect and admiration for Roger Powell. I clearly would have rooted for Illinios if they wasn't playing my beloved Tarheels. Nevertheless, It is great read about positive student athletes such as Roger Powell

Are you interested in speaking engagements for teenagers? Timeframe would be this October, money negotiable but not astounding (this is for your local library system) - I think you'd be a swell role model for a panel/program on blogging for teens.

If you're interested could you drop me a line? kirstedw(at)

I was rooting for the Illini, partly because I hate UNC, partly because it is the alma mater of a good friend, but mostly because I had heard of young Mr. Powell. A preacher hitting threes and banging in the paint? I LOVED it.

The most diehard Tarheel fan? he couldn't.

But good information tho. Seems pretty cool.

I think you mean all of us will go pro, not prop.

Sorry. I think I'm channeling an English teacher today.

Thanks for the correction.

Hey Roger, you're alright! Keep the faith, bud.....

A sports camp is run High Hill Missouri with an average of 100 kids attending each year. Every
year there are a handful of professional and
former professional attending who either conduct
the camp drill for each sport...
Example, hockey was led by former blues great
Gary Unger...
This is all about reaching kids for Christ through sports - not just sports.
Would you be interested in giving an evening
Gospel message or testimony or even participat in
in the basketball side of camp? Every leader that
participate is more interested in the hearts of
young people, not 'just' the game.
Frankly, there are inner city kids sometimes that
are very hard to engage with because they are sometimes so disengaged; I think you could reach
them with your platform for Christ and get
their attention. Camp is June 12-18
Keith Thorn
314.484.0542 cell

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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