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When Truman State guard Carly Printy committed to play for the Bulldogs, she was excited for all that her time would have to offer throughout college. But after facing a set of injuries after first stepping onto campus, Carly said she found that the identity she had placed in the game of basketball was shaking. As she grew closer to her faith, she credits it for leading her to where she is today with a renewed perspective and outlook.

Photo provided by Carly Printy
A star out of Lin-Mar High School, Carly’s decision to attend Truman State was rooted in both her parents being graduates of the school. As her parents helped raise her on the court, they also made sure faith was a priority in their family as well.

Carly says, “I grew up in a Christian household and have had Jesus in my life for as long as I can remember. I am very thankful that my parents raised me in such a way that allowed me to be a follower of Jesus.”

Carly says, however, that when she first arrived at Truman State she began finding her identity in basketball. A set of injuries forced her to rethink her foundation.

“Coming in as a freshman, my identity was completely rooted in basketball. It was everything to me and was where I looked for validation. When that was taken away from me I found myself in a pretty dark place. I was facing a lot of anxiety and self-doubt, and in those moments is where I found Christ. I now understand that my identity is much more than being an athlete.”

Carly says that she has now found her joy and purpose beyond the basketball court.

“When I put Christ at the forefront of my recovery journey it allowed me to surrender to His plan and put my future in His hands. Whether I get results of healing or news that I can’t play basketball again, I have peace in where He’s leading me.”

Carly says that she now hopes to lead others to Jesus and help them find the same peace she has felt since going back to Him.

“If I can reflect Jesus in the way I handle difficult circumstances then I have done my job. And if it is in God’s plan for me to heal and get back on the court next year, then I want it to be known that I got there solely because of His strength within me and give Him the glory for any success I achieve.”

Photo Courtesy of Truman State Athletics
As Carly continues to work her way back to the court, she says that the support system she has found has been key for helping lead her to where she is.

“I was lucky enough to be pushed by many of my teammates in my faith last year. A group of us decided that we wanted to read the Bible in a year in 2021. Before going on that journey I had never read a full book in the Bible. Getting into God’s word every single day and doing it with a group of my teammates and best friends to encourage me changed my perspective on my faith drastically.”

With a renewed perspective, Carly says she hopes to use basketball as an avenue to teach others about Jesus.

“My biggest goal is for people to see Jesus when they see me. I want to glorify Christ in everything I do, and I think basketball has given me the platform to do so. Even without putting on my uniform for two years, I feel like I’ve been gifted the opportunity to be a vessel for Christ to my teammates and those around me.”

As Carly prepares for her redshirt sophomore year with the Bulldogs, she says she has become content with whatever happens in her basketball career. Trusting it all rests in God’s hands has given her the peace she needs to treasure every moment she has around the game. The game of basketball has come with its ups and downs, but Carly says that she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Overall, without basketball, I may not have a testimony today. The least I can do is continue to put Christ at the center of my basketball career for as long as I am blessed with it.”

 

Ethan Kruse

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