(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics)

When I was growing up, I never thought I'd have to rely on my quickness and speed to score points. Believe it or not, when I was a kid, I was the tall one on my team.

I even remember playing center in my younger days. I was 5'11 back in 7th grade and then...well, that was it. I never really grew taller after that. At times when I was younger I would be frustrated with my stature, but God made me this way. He didn't make me this short by accident.

Plus, as the kids in Costa Rica showed me, I shouldn't dwell on the things I don't have. It's about enjoying the things I do.

The nice thing is that despite my size I can still be productive on the court, but I can't take all the credit for that. I have an amazing family who helped me get there.

First, there is my dad, who is my hero. My dad played football at Indiana, and now works at Grand Canyon University as their strength and conditioning coach. Not only is he a great athlete, but he was the one who inspired me to develop my relationship with God. My dad is someone I strive to be like each and every day. He doesn't just believe in God - he lives it.

My mom is an athlete too, and works at the rec center at GCU. She's around athletes all the time as well, and the two of them showed me the connections between my approach to basketball and my spiritual journey.

The thing is, my dad was a football player, so his basketball instructions only went so far. Like a lot of kids, my basketball skills really grew from my brothers.

I scored over 20 points per game last year, but my brother Jordan had an even better year. He averaged over 25 points a game with Central Arkansas, and even played for the Golden State Warriors Summer League team. And then if you wind that clock back a decade ago, the best basketball player between the siblings was my oldest brother Desmond.

I know that jealousy among siblings is common, and we even read about it in the Bible in the story of Joseph, but I can honestly say I'm Jordan's biggest fan. If you were to look at my Twitter, I am constantly posting about his newest award or highlight. I think it's easy not to be jealous of someone when they want you to succeed too.

I can't really think of a time where I was ever jealous of Jordan or Desmond. We would be really competitive with each other, and that occasionally led to some arguments on the court, but it was never to the point where we wanted to see the other one fail. At the end of the day I want Jordan to be better than me. And even though I haven't asked him, I think he wants me to be better than him.

But if you ever saw him play, you'd know that he’s set the bar pretty high.

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Thomas Hager