Basketball Star Oscar Tshiebwe Glorifies God in All-American Repeat

Photo from Oscar Tshiebwe’s Instagram

Basketball Star Oscar Tshiebwe Glorifies God in All-American Repeat

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Outspoken Christian and college basketball star, Oscar Tshiebwe was named an All-American player for the second year in a row. 

Tshiebwe has averaged 16.5 points this season and led the country with 13.1 rebounds per game while shooting 56.3%. His play helped Kentucky rise to a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament this year despite looking like they might not even qualify at the start of the season. His repeat as an All-American makes him the first Kentucky player to do so since Tayshaun Prince was bestowed the honors in 2001 and 2002. 

Tshiebwe transferred to Kentucky at the start of last season after two years at West Virginia. After only two seasons with Kentucky and 64 games, he’s raked in 909 rebounds placing him 8th in program history, and achieved 46 double-doubles, the third most in program history. 

While the basketball star shines on the court, his demeanor off the court is just as impressive. An outspoken Christian, Tshiebwe uses his platform to share the Gospel. His Twitter bio reads, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus,” quoting Philippians 3:14. Most of his posts pertain to scripture in one way or another. 

All Tshiebwe had to say to a unanimous first-team All-SEC selection was, “all glory to God.” 

Tshiebwe’s evangelism extends beyond social media. He’s open about his faith in press conferences and social media and is open to sharing his testimony when given the chance. 

Last winter when he was a guest on the Sports Spectrum Podcast, Tshiebwe opened up about the death of his father. The elder Tshiebwe was a pastor in Congo and was poisoned and killed when Oscar was 12. The Lord used this tragedy to bring Tshiebwe to faith. 

“I was going through a lot,” he said. “I was trying to look for people’s help. I did not find helpful people, and I said, ‘if I can’t find no helpful people, where else can I find help?’ And I started reading the Bible and I found the answer (in Psalm 121): ‘Our help comes from the Lord, and everything you’re looking for comes from the Lord.’” 

Tshiebwe receives mentoring from multiple ministry leaders in the area who encourage him to continue to boldly share his faith. He has also been a guest preacher at multiple churches in the area, opportunities that he cherishes. 

“Every time I go and preach, there’s some people being saved, he said. “Some people say, ‘Oscar, I just want to give my life to Jesus after hearing you preach. I just want to live a good life because I feel like I have not been doing right.’ …And I told him, ‘I don’t speak what I think is good for me, I only speak what the Holy Spirit has told me.” 

He continued later, “I can see myself up there after many years from today be a great public preacher speaking for God because I want people to be saved… for me to help you is to give you the Word of life – the Word of God – that’s the Word that can save you and give peace to your soul.” 

Tshiebwe’s Kentucky Wildcats will kick off their NCAA tournament on Friday, facing off against No. 11 seed Providence. 

Movieguide® has previously reported on Tshiebwe: 

The Kentucky Wildcats’ season came to an end after they were upset by the 15th ranked St. Peters on March 17.   

Despite the loss, Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe earned The Associated Press men’s college basketball national player of the year. 

The 6-foot-9 forward won 46 of 60 votes from AP Top 25 voters for his elite rebounding numbers in his first season with the Wildcats.  

The Democratic Republic of the Congo native grabbed the most rebounds of any Kentucky Wildcat player in history at their home court, Rupp Arena. Tshiebwe became one of two Wildcat players to earn the award, the first being NBA all-star Anthony Davis.  

“It is amazing to be join somebody like Anthony Davis,” Tshiebwe said. “And that gives me confidence and gives me more help for my future, too, for what I’m trying to do and what I’m trying to accomplish. I’m just putting God first because God knows what I need, and he has great plans for me.” 

Tshiebwe said that rebounding became a focus when he came to the states to play basketball, and in the 2021-2022 season, he averaged 15.1 a game.  

“First of all, it’s the position,” Tshiebwe explained. “You have to place yourself where you don’t need to work too hard for the basketball just to come in your hands. You’ve got to read it. … If somebody’s shooting this angle, probably 75% it’s going that way because the ball’s coming in this way, 25% it’s coming this way. You have to know that.” 

Tshiebwe also won the SEC Conference Player of the Year Award and The Naismith Trophy for his performance this year. 

After his breakout season with Kentucky, Tshiebwe is a top prospect for the NBA draft. However, whether he stays another year in college or enters the draft, Tshiebwe trusts God’s plan for his life.  

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