Auburn University's Basketball Team Tour Holy Land

The basketball team of Auburn University, United States, recently visited Israel from Alabama to tour the Holy Land. There are expectations that the trip will inspire other basketball teams in US colleges to do the same.

CBN News had a chat with Auburn’s coach, Bruce Pearl, who admitted that sport is a unifier. He is among the four Jewish college coaches to take the team to the final four in the NCAA basketball tournament.

He said, “It (sport) brings people, teams, universities, and communities together. Sports obviously have a way. It has brought us together.”

A group of Israeli fans also came to watch a game in Tel Aviv, with the request of the coach.

He told the fans, “God has blessed us. God has chosen us and with that, it’s a responsibility. Just like I tell my players: ‘You got to represent the name on the front of your jersey, that’s Auburn. You got to represent the name on the back of your jersey, that’s your family name. But you also got to represent God’s children, the Jewish people with how you act, with how you study, with how you love each other, with what kind of neighbor you are going to be. Let the light continue to shine upon you and shine upon all the people.’”

Quite a number of exhibition games were played by Auburn and Israeli teams. Also, they toured the Holy Land from Dead Sea, to the Sea of Galilee, and to the Western Wall.

In addition, some persons were baptized in the River Jordan. For some of the attendees, it was their first time on the trip.

Dylan Cardwell, a member of the Auburn team, told CBN News, “It’s just insane, you know, seeing the Bible come to life, to be able to tour Jerusalem my first day here and just see the route that Jesus went on before He was crucified and seeing the stone where He was anointed on.

“I’m just so glad I got to experience the life Jesus has lived and impacted billions and billions of people like 2000 years down the line.”

He also spoke about his experience on the trip. He said, “It’s a big blessing and bigger than I could have ever asked for. I am just so grateful to be able to experience it. I have run out of words to explain it but it’s a beautiful land.”

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