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Nuggets Assistant Coach Ryan Saunders Leans on ‘Relationship With Christ’ Amid Playoffs

Photo from Denver Nuggets’ Instagram

Nuggets Assistant Coach Ryan Saunders Leans on ‘Relationship With Christ’ Amid Playoffs

By Movieguide® Contributor

The Denver Nuggets, the reigning NBA Champions, and the Minnesota Timberwolves are tied up in the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs.

Denver recently tied the series up while on the road in Minnesota where the team’s assistant coach, Ryan Saunders, felt right at home.

Per Sports Spectrum, “Saunders spent five seasons as an assistant coach in Minnesota before being promoted to his first head-coaching gig. After taking over as the interim head coach of the Timberwolves in January 2019, he finished out the season well enough to stay on in the position. Saunders led the Timberwolves until being let go in February 2021.”

Saunders’ father, Flip, also coached the Timberwolves for 11 of his 20 years as a coach before his career came to a close in 2015 after he lost his battle with cancer.

Movieguide® reported:

Ryan Saunders, assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets—the 2023 NBA champions—joined the Sports Spectrum Podcast to discuss how his father, Flip Saunder’s, death impacted his faith journey.

“I am not a perfect Christian by any means, and I have a lot of things I need to improve on,” Saunders began. “But I also understand that I’ve come a long way in a lot of ways. I’m still a work in progress which I think that everybody is.”

Once Saunders became a coach, he explained the change in his life spiritually.

“I saw a change in how I approached difficult situations,” Saunders said. “Little did I know it was preparing me for one of my most difficult moments to date and that’s losing my father. I think it was all just a build up to that moment and to be there for those around me. My mother and three younger sisters, it’s a lot.

“I’m not ashamed to say it…I remember there were times where I, you know, would ask…out loud…‘Where are you God?’” Saunders shared previously. “But that really strengthened me and that strengthened my relationship with Christ.”

“We never lost faith,” he told Sports Spectrum. “I think that was something that was really, really important and really special because it showed that I was growing in my relationship, and we were growing in our relationship as Christians as a family.”

Saunders’ faith continues to grow, and he knows it’s about his relationship with God, not rules.

“OK, this is a relationship. It’s not just something…for me to attend and then you check a box. This is a relationship and how you live your life,” he said. “It’s kind of taken off from there. I am not a perfect Christian by any means, and I have a lot of things I need to improve on, but I also understand that I’ve come a long way in a lot of ways.”

For more inspiring sports stories, check out Sports Spectrum.

Regardless of how the playoffs go for the Nuggets, Saunders’ trust is in the Lord.

“Things will work out the way He wants them to work out,” he expressed. “And it’s not gonna be on our timeline.”

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.