There’s been no shortage of upsets in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, and there are often many surprises as the “mad” month of March comes to an end. But one thing that’s constant is the voice of the tournament and lead college basketball analyst for CBS Sports—Clark Kellogg.
Now, the veteran sportscaster preps for the 2016 Final Four this weekend. Kellogg has talked with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) about his love for basketball and his love for Christ.
“I’ve been in love with the game of basketball ever since I was 10 years old. I loved watching it and playing it, and I often dreamed of becoming a pro basketball player,” Kellogg told FCA for the March 2012 issue of its magazine.
He reminisced about being the oldest of five children, growing up on the east side of Cleveland under the watchful care of his father, a police officer, and his mom, who stayed at home with Clark and his siblings until he was in middle school. Kellogg said that his parents raised the family according to the “Christian norms that were prevalent in the late ’60s,” but the Kelloggs never went to church, and Clark said he didn’t have an understanding of what it meant to have a relationship with Christ.
“I had a reasonably good moral compass, but it wasn’t grounded in the truth of Scripture,” Kellogg told FCA. “We sought to do good to others and do the right things, but we were more of what you’d call ‘happy pagans.’”
Kellogg went on to say that, as a young man, he was very focused on pursuing his dreams and goals. In high school in 1979, he was named Mr. Ohio Basketball and earned a college scholarship to Ohio State University. After a successful college career, his dream of becoming a professional basketball player came true when he was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 1982.
“Life was good both on the court and off, as I also proposed to my future wife, Rosy, that year,” Kellogg said. “In so many ways I was living a positive and successful life, but it was totally self-centered, revolving around what I thought was best and right.
“In late 1985, however, my life completely changed,” he continued. “Through a local ministry’s chapel program with the Pacers, I began to realize that there was more to life than basketball. I was hurt at the time and had just undergone the second of what would be three knee surgeries. At that point, I didn’t know these injuries would ultimately end my career, but they had shaken my world enough to raise my antenna to who God was and what He might have to say about how I lived. Rosy walked through this time with me, and we both sensed in our spirits that we needed to seek out answers to our questions about God.”
Kellogg began spending time with the leader of the Pacer chapel program, Bryan Chapman. Together, they cracked open their Bibles, and eventually, it became apparent to Kellogg that God was and is the giver and sustainer of life—the giver of every good and perfect gift.
“I realized that His greatest desire and purpose for us was to reflect His image on earth and to glorify Him,” Kellogg said.
In November 1986, Kellogg gave over his heart and his life to the Lord, “believing with my heart that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that I needed Him to be the Lord and Savior of my life.”
Nine months later, in August 1987, Kellogg announced the end of his basketball playing career, confident that his future was secure in the hands of Christ. Shortly after, he began what has turned into a nearly 30-year career in sports broadcasting. Kellogg also serves as Vice President of Player Relations for the Indiana Pacers, helping players become champions on and off the court, primarily though mentoring, relationship-building and helping them develop holistically away from the game.
“No matter what role I embrace, however, my faith remains my foundation,” Kellogg said. “Christ is my all and the driver of my life. He permeates my very being and impacts everything I do. Through prayer, patience and asking Him to work through me, I realize I’m always an ambassador for Him. Whether I’m broadcasting, being a husband and father, mentoring our guys, or interacting with my colleagues, that’s who I am. I’m a Christ-follower and all that I think, do and say is influenced by that. I’m a representative of Christ, and I have the living Christ alive in me through God’s grace. That will always flow out of me as I stay close to Him.”
Clay Meyer has been on staff with FCA since 2008, when he joined its magazine as the assistant editor. He was promoted to associate editor in 2011 and editor in 2012. The University of Kansas alum has a passion for the Lord and the sports world and feels blessed to be a part of telling Christ-following athletes' stories through the ministry of FCA. He currently lives in Overland Park, Kan., with his wife, Liz and two children.