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How Zach Williams’ Love of Basketball Helped Him Discover Music

Photo by Maddox Fowler via Zach Williams’ Instagram

How Zach Williams’ Love of Basketball Helped Him Discover Music

By Movieguide® Contributor

Two-time Grammy award-winning artist Zach Williams recently opened up about how his dream to play professional basketball led to his music career.

Williams told Sports Spectrum that his love of basketball goes back to “third or fourth grade.”

“I got into playing basketball. We had a fourth grade team, and I remember learning how to shoot a jump shot. And my dad and his brothers were all basketball players. My dad played for the state all-star team in high school and I think they won a state championship. I lived in a basketball town and following in his footsteps, growing up, it’s what I wanted to do. From 11 or 12 until college I ate, slept and breathed basketball,” he said.

“His superior height and skill on the basketball court, however, garnered the attention of college recruiters; and a year later, while playing in a men’s basketball league, Williams was offered the chance to walk on to a team and earned a full scholarship to a college three hours away from his hometown of Jonesboro, Arkansas,” K-LOVE reported.

He played for NorthWest Arkansas Community College and hoped to go professional. However, he found himself drawn into the school’s party scene.

“I found myself partying every day, trying to outdo all the guys I lived with or hung out with,” Williams revealed. “Every day was just a competition to see who could party harder, and I carried that into my life for probably 13 years.”

“Drugs, alcohol and injuries ended his sports dream, but led him to finding a music career,” Sports Spectrum reported.

“While redshirting, he gravitated toward his roommate’s guitar. ‘As soon as I picked it up, I was like, Man, there’s something here with this guitar. I can just feel something,’ Williams remembers. ‘I started playing that guitar, and I just fell in love with music,'” per K-LOVE.

For more inspiring sports stories, check out Sports Spectrum.

Though his dream of playing basketball professionally never materialized, he found success in music.

Movieguide® previously reported:

He eventually joined a southern rock band and committed “110%” to the rocker lifestyle.

However, Williams left his band in 2017 to pursue Christian music and turn his career into something that glorified God. He decided to lean into his troubled past to encourage others with a similar story.

“Over the past few years, I’ve met all kinds of people who are dealing with addictions, cancer and other very serious situations,” he said. “These are the people I write songs for because I can relate to them.”

The singer explores his story in more detail in his upcoming book “Rescue Story.”

“A compelling, honest story of God’s unconditional love, grace, and redemption, Rescue Story shares the intimate journey of a beloved music artist and challenges you to seek resilient hope in the trials of your own life–because Jesus offers real freedom and joy, despite the mistakes of your past,” a synopsis reads.

While focused on his music career now, Williams hasn’t given up basketball entirely. He and some friends he toured with used to play before shows, but after twisting his ankle one night, the singer now saves playing basketball for his kids.

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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