To many in OC and at Faith, the name Tine Hardeman is quickly followed by the thought of basketball. For Tine, he uses basketball to glorify the Lord. However, this wasn’t always the case.
Being a very good player in college, Tine made basketball the number one priority of his life – not the Lord.
This all changed during one life-altering incident. While working for a logging company, an accident caused a log that was 5-feet across to come free, roll down a hill, and crash directly into Tine.
By the grace of God, he was found alive, but his back was broken in five places and his right leg in four places. The doctor told him it would be a miracle if he walked again, not to mention the impossible chance to play basketball. For three and a half months he was laid flat on a board, he couldn’t even raise his head.
Conversations with the Lord
Tine felt as though his life was over, no basketball? How could the Lord do this to him?
In the midst of despair, the Lord brought Psalms 37:3-5 to mind: “Trust in the Lord and do good so shall thou dwell in the land, and verily you shall be fed. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and he will act.”
- Defensively Tine thought: “I spend almost half an hour every day in the Word. God, what do you want from me?”
The answer was a nagging question: “What did I really delight in?”
The Lord replied: “Tine, you practice basketball three to four hours every day, and when you’re not playing, you’re talking, planning, or dreaming about it.”
The Lord said: “Commit basketball into my hands.”
- Tine thought: What would God want to do with basketball? How could competing to throw a leather ball through a metal hoop have any eternal significance? Although confused and pretty sure the Lord couldn’t use someone in his current state, Tine decide to commit basketball to the Lord.
The Lord brought Proverbs 3:5-6 to Tine’s heart: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Into the World to Share the Gospel
After four months in the hospital, feeling gradually returned to his legs. He learned to walk. And yes, learned to play basketball again. Not just play, but excel. His college senior year he became the 10th leading scorer in the nation. Soon an offer to try out for the Minneapolis (now LA) Lakers came in the mail – the dream.
Within days of receiving the Lakers tryout offer, another letter came in the mail. An offer to go on a college all-star sports evangelism trip, with Venture for Victory (now OC’s Sports Ambassadors.) Remembering his commitment to the Lord, giving Him basketball, Tine turned down the Lakers and headed to Asia.
He traveled to Japan, Korea, Taiwan (then Formosa), Okinawa, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines. Seven countries, playing 89 games in 30 days in front of 250,000 people, which meant sharing the gospel to over 250,000 people. The experience changed him forever.
While in the Philippines, Tine said, “Lord, I don’t know what you have planned for me, but if you want me here I willing to come.”
Steps in Obedience
By this time, Tine had met Jan. They became a family in 1955 – committing to each other and the Lord forever.
After the birth of their second child Terri, Tine and Jan headed to the Philippines to serve at Faith Academy.
The Lord continued to use basketball in Tine’s life. He played professional basketball in the Philippines. He also continued to go on Venture for Victory trips and later Sports Ambassador trips, playing basketball and sharing the gospel. He brought his kids and grandkids along on some of these trips, showing them all how sports could be used for the Lord’s glory and purpose.
It’s now 60 years later, and Tine and Jan are still following the Lord and serving faithfully in the Philippines. Read more about their 60 Years of Faithfulness in the Philippines.
*Tine wrote his whole story in a book: The Real Game “that Matters”. Available by special request.
One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. One Challenge uses sports as a vehicle to create opportunities for sharing the gospel, planting churches, helping churches engage their communities, and developing disciple-making networks. Contact the OC Sports Ambassadors at SA@oci.org or go their special Sports Ambassadors website.
One Challenge seeks to educate on all levels in order to equip the next generation of leaders … English as a second language, global workers’ children in international schools, university and seminary students.