AUSTIN, TX (FR) – Yulonda Wimbish, the quiet, 22-year-old guard for the University of Texas Lady Longhorns basketball team, has just picked up the “Most Outstanding Player of the Year of the Southwest Conference” award and has been invited to the 1988 Olympic Trials. Wimbish exhuberantly said, “All of a sudden I have these leadership qualities and more confidence in myself.”
Wimbish won both of these honors for the first time in her collegiate basketball career.“Winning the award and making the tournament team was far from my mind,” she said. “I wasn’t focusing on getting it, it just happened. The Lord enabled me to play as well as I did.”
In 1987 she played on the USA Select Team in Korea for the summer pre-trials and the team took second place. Her first international basketball game was at Colorado Springs during her sophomore year where she won a gold medal.
A 5th-year speech major, Wimbish became a Christian several months after her roommate, fellow Lady Longhorn Clarissa Davis. Wimbish admits that she was “just a religious person” before she had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ that radically changed her life.
The biggest change she says since she became a Christian is that she now has a “new boldness to talk about God.” After the games, the players speak to their fans in a forum called “Fastbreak.” Wimbish has taken the forum as an opportunity to share the gospel.
Besides this new boldness, Wimbish also says she has “realized that God is real” and that following Him does not entail adherence to traditional religious ceremonies. “Christianity is not dead religion,” she explains. “It’s a relationship with the living God.”
She sees the Olympic Trials as a door to share the Gospel with top athletes from different parts of the nation. “I know I’m going over there for a purpose, and if I don’t make the team, but someone becomes a Christian, then I’ve been successful.”
Although it is unclear what she is going to do after graduation in July, she says, “Whatever I do, I’m going to preach the Word.”