Former Kansas Jayhawks hoops star and devout christian Wayne Simien takes the KANSAS CITY STAR’s J. Brady McCollough through his life of temptation, which most prominently involved the appropriately-named Miami Heat.
Wayne Simien’s first team meeting with the Miami Heat, which drafted him in the first round in 2005 with the 29th overall pick, gave him a pretty good indication of what life would be like in the NBA.
“I remember walking in,” says Simien, a 6-foot-9 power forward. “They were like ‘This dude’s a Christian. Give him two weeks until he’s on South Beach in a strip club with me, give him such and such amount of time until he meets Suzie in LA and does yada yada yada.’ They were taking bets on me, basically, cash-money bets right in front of me as far as how long it would take for me to have a hiccup or whatever.”
Apparently those were desperate times for Simien, who felt so threatened by his teammates that he would fly in his pastor for road trips.
Simien once flew (Pastor John) McDermott and his three little boys to meet him for back-to-back games in Chicago and Milwaukee.
“Not to demean them, but his teammates had other things going on,” McDermott says. “Here he was hanging out with me and three boys.”
In August, 2005, Simien married his wife Katie after dating for seven months in Miami.
In another statement about the way he was choosing to live, Wayne did not kiss Katie until their wedding day.
“I wasn’t a virgin when I got married,” Simien says, “so it was just another way of wanting to honor my wife, wanting to share that with not only her but also everybody that was at our wedding ceremony.”
Some of his Heat teammates, who along with Simien had just won the 2006 NBA championship, attended the wedding and were blown away that he hadn’t kissed Katie. It was just another reason to believe that Simien was walking the walk.
“They were asking me why I would do that,” Simien says. “Really being able to speak to those guys, to be able to touch an area in their lives that they really hadn’t considered before, I think there was a lot of respect gained from that.”
Certainly, no players had been able to collect on their bets.
Simien’s NBA career ended after less than three seasons. Following a short stint in Spain, he retired. Simien is now a minister and, “says he doesn’t need the money right now.” He also currently serves as a chaplain for the KU hoops team.
Great story, but perhaps Simien’s god needs to have a chat with Terrell Owens’ god.
If you read Owens’ Twitter, you know he ascribes pretty much his every waking moment to God. Moments which, unlike Simien, include tantrums, insufferable self-absorption and strip club histrionics.