Full Updated Story (in Coloradoan.com) March 2014
Basketball has always ruled my life. Even with a lot of success through high school, I was the all time leading scorer and won the Co-Mr. Basketball in 2000, I still found myself searching for more. I was making bad decisions, trying to fill this void in my life. Through the talents that God blessed me with, I was able to get a scholarship to play at Clemson University where I continued having much success. I made the All-ACC freshman team, but still something was missing. I was making bad choices, hanging out and drinking, chasing girls... still trying to find something that wasn't there. I decided to transfer to The Ohio State University to be closer to home and around my family. Having all that success, I felt like I needed to celebrate this with my family. I felt like this is what I was maybe missing.
When I got to The Ohio State University I continued to have success, I led my team in scoring my junior year and started off my senior year having a great season. My girlfriend at the time Brittany, (wife now) became pregnant with our first son. He was born with a large cyst on his brain, .... through the stress, confusion and frustration of all the things that was going on with Tayden, it broke me down. My basketball started to falter, I was struggling to get to practice, class, and to the hospital to visit my son... I was at the point where I was asking "Why me?!". That's when I realized that I wasn't a living a "God-Honoring Life", I was living a "Me-Honoring Life". Everything I did I was saying "Good Job Tony", I was only worried about myself.
Having my son Tayden helped me understand that everything is not all about me. That's when I first realized that God was working in my life. I started to read the Bible, ask questions, and started my spiritual growth. I asked Christ to be my Savior after my senior year in high school but nothing had happened since. My uncle gave me a book called "The Case for Christmas" by Lee Stroebel when I left for France to play pro ball. Reading that gave me a much greater appreciation for Jesus Christ and the place He needed to have in my life. Not too long after, Brittany and I were married and our lives became focused around being the people God meant us to be. Eventually, playing pro basketball and leaving my family, lost its attraction. However, I found fulfillment and purpose in life by coaching young men, being a good husband and father, and helping others get close to Christ as head coach at Ohio Christian University.
As I still continue to grow, I understand that God has a plan for everyone, I understand that the thing that I was missing while having all that success was a balance between God, family, and basketball. And now with my faith and my balance, even as I still struggle with life challenges, I have a peace about me and I know through Jesus Christ all things are possible.