Spiritual walk top priority for Suns’ center/forward

Brandon Knight may have been out for the recent season with an injury but his influence still carries weight with his Phoenix Suns teammates.

“Brandon is a tremendously talented individual,” said Alan Williams, Suns center/forward. “He is an all-around great guy who brings an element of good character to our team. He is very well-respected and very well-liked here. He is very active in his faith. He is definitely not shy to talk about it or bring it up any time. It is definitely good to have a guy like that in the locker room.”

Knight, a former University of Kentucky standout who decided to enter the 2011 NBA draft after his freshman year, was first selected by the Detroit Pistons as the eighth overall pick. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie first team in 2012.

He spent time in Milwaukee prior to being traded to the Suns in February 2015.

In July 2017, 26-year-old Knight tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He had surgery in August and missed the 2017–18 season. Though he has undergone therapy for his physical walk, his spiritual walk is his top priority.

“(Jesus) is No. 1. Without Him we would not be here. His grace, His mercy is everlasting. He knows we are not perfect but He was loving enough to love us when we didn’t know Him and give us an opportunity. I have been able to say that I know God is real. Everything He has done for me, I will forever be committed to trying to walk that walk,” said Knight.

Knight’s commitment to his faith makes an impression on teammates.

‘Man of God’

Devin Booker, Knight’s teammate at both Phoenix and Kentucky, said, “I know that he is a man of God. He always has his Bible on him. With him being injured he has been a great personality around the locker room. We all know that he can play basketball very well, but due to the unfortunate events of his injury it has held him off the court. He has been in good spirits around us every day. It doesn’t go unnoticed.”

Knight, who grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010 while at Pine Crest School, did not even know where Kentucky was when he was being recruited.

“When you are a Florida kid and from the South, I didn’t know if Kentucky was in the Midwest or what. I realized that it was on the East Coast. It was like ‘Wow,’” he said.

Kentucky was not his first choice.

“God started weeding all of them out. I loved Kentucky but I wasn’t sure about it. That was literally the last option that He left open to me and it ended up being the best one,” said Knight, who was first team All-Southeastern Conference in 2011.

Now Knight wants to use his NBA career as a platform to lead others to Christ, he said.

“I love the Lord. I love my family. I love to hoop.”

Knight also provides veteran leadership with a desire to see teammates improve.

Guard Troy Daniels said, “If he sees somebody in need he is going to help them. That is the type of guy he is.”

Knight said prayer and reading the Bible consistently are important to his spiritual growth, and he trusts the Lord to lead him in big things and small.

“On your journey He will let you know what your purpose is. He will direct you toward it,” he said. “The things I have been through and looking back at what God has done for me, you don’t forget those things.”