Spiritual Hoosier

Dec. 6, 2003

In Indiana, the land where Hoosier basketball is larger than life, most kids dream of one day playing in Indiana's basketball garden of Eden, Assembly Hall. Todd Abernethy was no different. Growing up in Carmel, Ind., with a father, Tom, that played for the Hoosiers when they won a national championship and brothers that both played basketball at the collegiate level, Indiana basketball was in his blood.

Todd played high school basketball at Heritage Christian High School where he averaged 28.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists as a senior. That year, he was named to the Coaches All-State first team, Associated Press All-State second team, awarded City co-player of the year honors and was an Indianapolis Star Super Team selection for 2002-03. As his senior season ended, Todd began to see that his basketball career was not over. He would have a chance to play basketball at the collegiate level.

Todd had always had a strong Christian faith and it showed in his basketball. Whether his teams won or lost, he always had a winning spirit.

"My faith is huge in basketball," said Abernethy. "The Lord has given me the strength and ability to play. No matter if the game is good or bad, the Lord is still great, and I am thankful for that."

College recruiters began visiting, and Abernethy realized that he wanted more out of his college career than just basketball. He wanted to attend a college where he could be around people that shared his same desire to have a strong faith. When Rod Barnes visited, Abernethy immediately noticed his strong Christian faith.

"The first time I talked to him it made a huge impact on me to hear that he had values like mine and that be believed there was more to life than just basketball," Abernethy said.

He decided that his dream of playing Hoosier basketball wasn't really a dream. He felt that The University of Mississippi and Rod Barnes fulfilled his athletic, academic and spiritual needs. Abernethy signed with Ole Miss in the spring of 2003 and since then has won the starting point guard position in the Rebel backcourt. Coach Barnes definitely saw Abernethy's potential and his winning attitude.

"We've asked him to do a lot, to come here and lead a basketball team in his freshman year, but he's done a great job and I believe he has a great future ahead of him," said Barnes.

This season, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound freshman has started every game and leads the team in assists. Abernethy enjoyed one of his best games at Florida State, knocking down 3-of-4 three-pointers en route to an 11-point, 4-assist performance.

His leadership ability and Christian way of life has also continued off the court. He is a member and leader of the Ole Miss chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

 

 

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