Former BYU Safety Derwin Gray Impressed With BYU Basketball’s Desire To Create Just Society

Jun 19, 2020, 11:16 AM
Derwin Gray BYU...
Former BYU safety Derwin Gray shares the gospel of Jesus Christ at Transformation Church. (Photo courtesy of Transformation Church)
(Photo courtesy of Transformation Church)

PROVO, Utah – Former BYU Football and NFL player Derwin Gray has become a successful pastor, author since his playing days on the gridiron.

With all the success Dr. Derwin Gray has had in professional life, Gray has always remained passionate about BYU sports.

Last fall, Gray carried an alumni flag at BYU football’s game against Washington in Provo and he has spoken to the BYU football program a handful of times dating back to 2015 when Bronco Mendenhall was the head coach. Whenever BYU reaches out, Dr. Gray tries to lend his valuable perspective and insight as a Black-American man who navigated BYU in the late 1980s and early ’90s.

With the Black Lives Matter movement being an important topic in the world today, BYU head basketball coach Mark Pope reached out to Dr. Gray, the lead pastor of the Transformation Church to speak on race, forming a just society, and even the gospel.

“Coach Pope reached out to me and you know, anytime I can give back to the BYU community in any kind of way, I’m going to do my best to serve the community,” said Gray to KSL Sports. “So we had a previous call just to kind of get to know each other and then he allowed to talk with his team and I was very impressed with the thoughtfulness of the questions they asked, the comments they made, and also their awareness to being part of creating a just society.”

Dr. Derwin Gray shared the “Four L’s”

Gray, an accomplished author with an Amazon best-selling book out titled, “The Good Life: What Jesus Teaches About Finding True Happiness,” shared messages with the team as well.

“One of the things that I said to them is that at the end of the day, it comes down to this, loving my neighbor as I love myself and what are strategic ways to be able to do that? So I talked to them about the four L’s.

“The first [L] is, you listen. The second is you commit. The third is you learn. And the fourth is you leverage your life to love your neighbor as you love yourself, which means I care about people and I care about issues that may not affect me or people that look like me. But in loving my neighbor that means that I care about everyone.”

After Dr. Gray presented the four L’s to the BYU basketball team, he opened it up for questions and conversation to the group that was assembled via Zoom.

“I felt that was very encouraging, very rich,” said Gray. ” I get the sense that with Coach Pope, he’s creating a culture where these young men understand that it’s not just about winning games, but how do we win at life and the way you win life is making some else’s life better.”

Players and coaches came away impressed with Dr. Gray as well. BYU forward Gavin Baxter tweeted out, “Had the chance to meet with @DerwinLGray who’s an incredible human being! He’s a true follower of Christ and his perspective and insight are extremely valuable!”

BYU assistant coach Nick Robinson came away inspired from the Zoom call with Gray as well, “Thanks to @DerwinLGray for taking the time to educate @BYUbasketball. #ChristFollower L.O.V.E.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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