'All In' speaker energizes Defender Basketball Camp athletes

'All In' speaker energizes Defender Basketball Camp athletes

From a New Jersey high school classroom to a NFL chapel service to BBC Defender Basketball Camp, Gian-Paul Gonzalez knows how to make an impact.

To be 'all in' was his challenge to the New York Giants in December 2011 -- before the National Football League team went on to win the Super Bowl in February.

Since then, he has spoken to other professional sports teams and various corporations, inspiring people to be committed to their families and jobs to make a positive difference in the world.

The first week of July, Gonzalez participated in Defender Basketball Camp, his second year as chapel speaker.

"The goal is really just empowering young men," Gonzalez said. "To be men of passion, intensity, true toughness, men of vision...and men of confidence, rooting our confidence in Christ."

Defender Sports Camps focus on developing young athletes both physically and spiritually. Athletic instruction improves skills on the court, and chapel builds character for life off the court.

Learn more about Defender Sports Camps here .

BBC&S'All In' for Students
Gian-Paul Gonzalez is a teacher at Union City High School in Union City, NJ, where he grew up. Formerly a history teacher, he now teaches a freshman seminar class to the school district's at-risk students, focusing on character development, time management, and conflict resolution.

Union City High School is a multi-ethnic district, sitting just a few minutes from New York City.

Gonzalez also leads a sports ministry, 4-One, reaching out to students in neighborhoods, schools, and juvenile jails through basketball. Talented athletes share the gospel as a message of hope that satisfies greater than any accolade.

The message resonated among campers, said Taylor Leabhart, 17, of Annapolis, MD.

"How he can relate to us is great," he said. "People say you can't do it, you can't stay away from temptation. You can. And you can stay committed even in the little things."

Caleb Maisonville, 16, of Schroon Lake, NY, added that Gonzalez' focus on something greater than sports alone was powerful.

"With the experiences he's had, he's really able to connect with teenagers," he said.

Connected to BBC
Three years ago, Gonzalez came to Defender Basketball Camp with speaker Dan Ochiogrosso, a BBC alumnus who leads Dribble The World, a basketball-based ministry. A friendship with BBC Athletic Director and Head Men's Basketball Coach Mike Show led to his speaking opportunity at the camp last year.

With a love for students and sports, he was thrilled to be back this year.

"I really enjoy being able to come here," he said. "Being able to base it in faith, speaking to young men, I definitely have a passion for that. They are the next generation and are able to carry out things even greater than we do."

This year's Defender Basketball Camp attracted 185 students. More are expected next year with the opening of the Kempton Athletic Center.

Coach Mike Show said having Gonzalez speak adds credibility to an already strong annual camp.

"The way he's able to illustrate biblical principles is powerful," he said. "He relates at the grassroots level in a way these kids understand."

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to serve and lead as they gain critical leadership and life skills.

To learn more, go to or call 570.586.2400.

Posted on: 7/6/2012 11:35:38 AM

Share on Facebook      



Return to the previous page