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Minister Mark Jackson, ESPN Analyst: 'Christian Faith Is What I'm All About'

( [email protected] ) Feb 11, 2017 10:58 AM EST
Faith allows people to put everything into perspective, said Mark Jackson, former Golden State Warriors head basketball coach who once served as the pastor of True Love Worship Center International in Reseda, Calif.
ESPN analyst and former Golden Warriors' coach Pastor Mark Jackson told The Gospel Herald that faith enabled him to be a leader on and off the basketball court.
Reuters

Faith allows people to put everything into perspective, said Mark Jackson, former Golden State Warriors head basketball coach who once served as the pastor of True Love Worship Center International in Reseda, Calif.

In an interview with The Gospel Herald, Jackson said religious belief enables people to take themselves out of the picture. "Faith...it's what I'm all about. Glory goes to the Lord."

Jackson, 51, who said he feels fortunate, blessed and humbled through faith, proclaims to not take those things for granted on which he believes God put a hand.

Now an ESPN broadcaster, in basketball, Jackson was a point guard from St. John's University. Within the NBA from 1987 to 2004, he played for the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.

He is of Dominican Republic descent, which qualified him to play for the country's national basketball team.  

After retiring from playing basketball, he became a broadcast commentator for ESPN and ABC alongside his former coach Jeff Van Gundy and play-by-play man Mike Breen. He also worked as an analyst for The YES Network's New Jersey Nets games.

In 2011, the Golden State Warriors hired Jackson as head coach. He coached the team for three seasons, but was fired in 2014, despite leading the Warriors to consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in 20-plus years. Warriors' Joe Lacob blamed Jackson's poor relationship with the rest of the organization and his choice of assistant coaches as the main reasons for letting him go, reports SB Nation.

Jackson is married to singer and actress Desiree Coleman. As a licensed minister, he and his wife co-pastored True Love Worship Center International. However, in June 2012, Jackson revealed he had been the target of an extortion threat, which was based on an extramarital affair and nude photos taken in 2006. Jackson said he initially made payments of several thousands of dollars to a stripper and her accomplice to keep quiet about the affair and the photos, but when the alleged extortionists increased their demands, Jackson went to the FBI, and ultimately the alleged conspirators were named in felony criminal complaints.

"I recognize the extremely poor judgment that I used both in having an affair six years ago--including the embarrassing communication I exhibited during that time," said Jackson, "and in attempting to deal with the extortion scheme at first by myself."

The Warriors' coach said he was not serving as pastor at the time of his infidelities and apologized to his congregation for the controversy, reports The Christian Post.

"At that time in my life, I was not pastoring. Three years ago, my wife and I established a ministry," Jackson said. "With deepest regret, I want to apologize to my church family. I was wrong. We must live holy."

Jackson appeared in 1996's Eddie, playing Darren 'Preacher' Taylor.

Tags : mark Jackson, christian faith, faith, ESPN, basketball, Golden State Warriors, Darren 'Preacher' Taylor, True Love Worship Center International, athlete ministers, Jeff Van Gundy, Mike Breen