February 21, 2013

Austin Montgomery Puts His Faith Before Basketball

This week I read a wonderful article about a young man I know.  Austin Montgomery is my son's friend and we attend the same church.  He was just at our home a few days ago.  Although I see him every Sunday, I was surprised to learn so much about him from an article in a local newspaper.

Austin recently earned the honor of 'Star Student' for Hall County, Georgia.  He tied with another young man for the award, given to the student with the highest SAT score at his school.  With a 4.0 GPA, he didn't need to excel at Basketball.  But at 6' 8" tall and a tradition of excellence in the sport in his family, he might as well shine there too.  He dunks with ease and drains 3 pointers repeatedly.  Although tall enough to easily block shots, he leaps up to really knock them off target.  He's a gifted athlete.  He is carefully considering where to attend college, with recruiters watching him closely.
All of this is really laudable.  He clearly works hard in his classes at school, studies hard at home and practices basketball with determination.  But he earns my greatest respect in his choice to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before he plays ball in college. 

He's already put his faith first; Austin has Sunday responsibilities at church dealing with administering the Sacrament to the congregation.  He didn't join the AAU team at first because most of the games were on Sunday. He joined after he negotiated with the coach that he would miss all Sundays. 

Austin's faith makes his choice of colleges very unique.  He needs a strong academic program, as he plans on studying Biomechanical Engineering; a strong basketball program to really let his talents shine; and the opportunity to defer his enrollment for two years.

Taking a two year break from play may hurt his basketball prospects.  But that doesn't seem to deter Austin.  He said, “It has to be a personal thing that you want to do or else you won’t be dedicated and do your best to help people wherever you go.”  With that attitude, Austin will be a great missionary, looking for ways to serve and help the children of God wherever he is sent. 

I am convinced we will see great things academically and physically from this young man.  But first, he will serve the Lord.  

Works Cited:

King, Savannah.  "Star Student:  Missionary Work Comes Before College."  Gainesville Times.  20 Feb 2013.  n. pag. web. 21 Feb 2013.  http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/79942/

"Star Students/Teachers Announced."  Access North GA.com.  19 Feb 2013. n. pag. web. 21 Feb 2013.  http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=258472

Taylor, Zac.  "Boys Athlete of the Week:  Lakeview Academy."  Gainesville Times.  3 Dec 2012. n. pag. web. 22 Feb 2013.  http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/archives/76519/

Watch a video of Austin playing some awesome basketball here:  uTube Austin Montgomery Slam Dunking and An Amazing Slam

Photo courtesy of Alison Montgomery's uTube video. 

Updated 22 Feb 2013

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