“FCA’s ‘The CORE’ makes the commonalities between sports and faith so transferrable—it’s really all one and the same”
May 23, 2022
KANSAS CITY, Mo.— Jason Curry built a bridge for his two passions: kids and sports. He didn’t know it, but his passion for Christ was going to turn his organization, Big Apple Basketball, into something bigger than what Curry could ever have imagined—and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) was able to play a role.
Big Apple Basketball is a non-profit organization that helps parents and families navigate finding a school for their kids that would be a good fit. It helps kids get scholarships. It helps players wanting to play professionally overseas or those wanting to become coaches. It helps people wanting to become agents. It’s an all-things basketball resource based in New York City, servicing athletes and families throughout the country and internationally.
Before starting Big Apple Basketball, Curry’sfour-year basketball scholarship to St. Michael’s College in Vermont where he was a journalism major opened doors for him to work at several major broadcasting networks. He left that career to start Big Apple Basketball in 1999 and 20 years after founding Big Apple Basketball, he was honored as both the Jr. Knicks Coach of the Year and the Jr. NBA Coach of the Year.
Curry was first introduced to FCA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Manny Maldonado, FCA’s Metro Director in New York City, was a guest on the same radio show as Curry, who heard Maldonado on the segment prior to his. Curry said, “I had no idea who Manny was and I didn’t have any ties to FCA, but listening to his interview, there was just something about how he presented himself that caught my attention.”
Over time, a mutual friend connected Curry and Maldonado. Curry reminisced, “Manny began to tell me what FCA was all about. Manny started engaging me from the standpoint of volunteering and learning more about FCA. I came to realize that a lot of things that he was doing with FCA, I already had a lot of experience with doing Big Apple Basketball. I just love the vision. It was one of the first times where I realized how my gift of basketball and my walk as a man of God could merge. I began to see that I can use my influence for Christ in the realm of sports, and that’s a newfound journey that’s helped me personally. I’m all in with FCA.”
Maldonado saw something in Curry as well and believed the Lord wanted him to pursue Curry about his faith. “I see a lot of people and God draws us together for a reason. I knew there was a love for youth and for Jesus in this man, and with his amazing work to help families coupled with his athleticism, I just knew God wanted us to grow together in Him in ways we could not have imagined. FCA is even better now that Jason is connected to our team.”
FCA has an outstanding eight-week program, “The CORE.” It covers eight essentials to strengthen one’s faith to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. These essentials are: Join God’s Team, Live with God’s Power, Train Spiritually, Communicate with God, Study God’s Playbook, Team Up with Others, Know Your Role and Share with Others.
Curry stated, “When Manny walked me through The CORE, that was life-changing. By the time I finished those eight weeks with him, it was so powerful I had to share it.
“I wound up connecting with one of my old college teammates and I did The CORE with him. After that, I did it with four of my Big Apple Basketball coaches, then I did it with some high school and college student-athletes. I ended up doing 40 consecutive weeks of The CORE without a break in between.
“There are so many commonalities between sports and faith,” Curry continued. “For me, I was an expert in terms of understanding sports and what it takes to accomplish goals. As we were doing The CORE and how it was just so transferrable to sports, I was like, this is really all one and the same.
“If I’ve been able to master this walk from a professional basketball standpoint, then I can transfer that and be able to not only apply it to myself, but to inspire others to want to take this walk with Christ and understand what is most important for us. The presence of the Lord is felt through me on or off a court. It’s beautiful.”
Maldonado concluded, “Sometimes the deepest impact happens in a one-on-one setting with a coach who is hungry to spread God’s love by making disciples who make disciples on and off the athletic field. Jason is a living expression of how God could take simple tools like The CORE and E3 and use it to impact coaches, athletes and parents in his community and beyond.”
FCA’s theme for 2022 is Every, based on Ephesians 1:3: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” FCAreminds Christian coaches and athletes that they already have everything they need in Christ and encourages them to seek Him both on and off the field.
After extensive growth, FCA has reached millions of people with the Gospel. View a timeline of FCA’s 68-year history here, including videos, quotes, articles, leader profiles, Camp themes, photos and more.