Thursday, August 22, 2019
At Providence, we love to tell the stories of our alumni, to share with others how God is working through these individuals to make a difference in workplaces, communities, and ministries all over the world.
Johnathon (Coach JT to his mentees) was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas, where his love for the game of basketball began. More than entertainment, basketball was an activity that kept him off the troubled streets and was instrumental in building his character.
In 2010, on a recruiting trip, Athletic Director Scott Masterson met JT and was immediately impressed with his genuine nature and solid character. It required a leap of faith for JT and his family, but that September JT enrolled at Providence to study business and play basketball.
In the classroom, JT encountered different denominations and ancient church traditions. He learned the importance of reading the Bible in its entirety and that the whole of Scripture points to salvation. “My understanding and knowledge grew, which really validated my walk with God. Understanding the Bible contextually was huge for me, as I came from a culture that has been spiritually rooted. Studying at Providence gave me a broader perspective to have a firm foundation of knowledge to back up the move of the Holy Spirit in my life.”
Playing basketball at Providence taught JT how to be a leader both on and off the court. He learned what it meant to be a student-athlete, focusing on being a student first. He came to understand how his faith and passion for the game of basketball could coincide, giving him opportunities to integrate the two. Masterson recalls, “Throughout his time at Providence, JT excelled academically and athletically. His faith was always foundational to his life and how he interacted with those around him.”
Today, JT (BA 2014) and his wife Brianna (BA 2015) live in Abbotsford, BC, where he runs Game Changer Skills Academy. Based on his brother’s organization in Nassau, Bahamas, JT used his brother’s vision, creation and branding as a stepping-stone, bringing the concept to Canada.
Game Changer Skills Academy is an elite basketball-training academy for young athletes that focuses on holistic growth, teaching athletic skill while prioritizing personal growth. The goal is to strengthen athletes’ mental aptitudes while improving their skills, so that “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
The business acumen that JT acquired at Providence enabled him to confidently launch his own business, while the leadership skills he developed on the Providence basketball team were foundational to his current ministry.
“He was a standout basketball player for all four years he played for us and has gone on to use his basketball experience and business degree, to invest in the lives of others through his Academy,” says Masterson.
“I am very proud of him and the impact he continues to have with those he interacts with.”