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Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Aaron Wiggins, left, and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
AP photo by Nate Billings

‘We both want to see souls win’

Basketball-loving brothers — and ministers — on opposite sides of Thunder-Mavericks playoff series.

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OKLAHOMA CITY — The Lewis brothers share a love for Jesus, ministry and basketball.

Their allegiances diverge, though, when it comes to favorite NBA teams.

Tim Lewis, preaching minister for the North MacArthur Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, loves the Oklahoma City Thunder. Mike Lewis, elder and evangelist for the Flower Mound Church of Christ in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, cheers for the Dallas Mavericks.

Mike and Tim Lewis love Jesus, ministry and basketball.

Mike and Tim Lewis love Jesus, ministry and basketball.

“The two B’s — Bible and basketball,” Mike said. “That’s pretty much been the theme of our lives.”

That theme has put them on opposite sides as the Thunder and Mavericks push for a place in the Western Conference Finals. Dallas defeated Oklahoma City, 104-92, Wednesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. The series resumes Saturday night in Dallas.

Mike enjoys regularly attending games at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, but his walk with God takes precedence over basketball.

“As a season ticket holder, I constantly take young men to these games to get to know them,” said Mike, the older brother. “We are able to build a relationship, teach them the Gospel and baptize them into Christ.”

Younger brother Tim has enjoyed watching Thunder games for several seasons. Despite the deficit his team faces, his outlook on the playoff clash is bigger than the game of basketball.

“Basketball is a shared interest and passion that has opened the door for us to talk about things that are more important,” Tim said. “That’s the bond that Mike and I share of common interests and common commitment.”

They enjoy playing the game as well as watching it. 

Whether shooting hoops at an LA Fitness or in a church gymnasium, the ministers embrace the competition and fellowship. Basketball provides a means, Mike said, to spread the “most important message.”

“I think you should use your passion,” Mike said. “The story is a way to use the things you love to influence others for the Kingdom.”

The brothers grew up playing basketball and later excelled at the sport collegiately, including at the now-defunct Northeastern Christian Junior College in Villanova, Pa., and Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City.

Mike Lewis at a Dallas Mavericks game.

Mike Lewis with his daughter Alexa at a Dallas Mavericks game.

Tim Lewis with his wife, Tawni, at an Oklahoma City Thunder game.

Tim Lewis with his wife, Tawni, at an Oklahoma City Thunder game.

“That passion for basketball shifted to a real passion for our faith,” Tim said. “We both started to be around people that helped us to grow and helped us to mature.”

As the pivotal Game 6 approaches, the ultimate goal remains the same for the ministers and brothers.

“There isn’t a real clear rivalry other than he wants the Thunder to win, and I want the Mavs to win,” Mike said. “But we both want to see souls win.”

NIC FRARACCIO, a senior journalism major at Harding University in Searcy, Ark., is The Christian Chronicle’s summer intern. Reach him at [email protected].

Filed under: basketball Dallas Mavericks Faith and sports Flower Mound Church of Christ National NBA News North MacArthur Church of Christ Oklahoma City Thunder People sports Top Stories

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