Former NBA All Star Vin Baker quits alcohol and is studying to become a pastor
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:09 pm    Post subject: Former NBA All Star Vin Baker quits alcohol and is studying to become a pastor

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Former NBA All-Star Vin Baker rebounds from life of booze and excess with help from Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem
Now, Baker is a student at Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan, studying to get his Master’s degree in divinity with the hopes of becoming a pastor, just like his father, who also struggled with alcohol and stopped drinking after a religious awakening


Drinking problems ruined the career of former Knick Vin Baker, who is now a youth minister at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, mentoring youths.

Vin Baker is resting an elbow on a wooden pulpit, his 6-11 body wrapped in a snappy, plaid suit that seems to stretch on forever. He takes a deep breath and exhales, his long face looking down for a moment. The audience waits patiently, kids sitting up straight. Then, Baker, a four-time NBA All-Star, tells his story, difficult as it might be. Delivering a sermon is harder than shooting free throws, he says.

“At one point I thought having a full armor of God was having a sneaker in my name and having millions of dollars,” he says with a smile, looking out to a small crowd seated in folding chairs. “In my career, I amassed $105 million. Sounds like a pretty big armor, right?”

Most of the adults in the crowd quickly reply with an “Uh huh.”

Baker smiles and goes on.

“When you’re protected by the armor of God, it doesn’t matter how much money you had or how many gold medals you won in the Olympics. No, the armor means praying and having the armor protect you from the enemy.”

He speaks without notes, his voice getting stronger.

“When you get some $100 million, it’s easy to forget about God,” said Baker, who spent some time with the Knicks. “I’m guilty. I forgot about church on Sunday. But he brought me back under his protection.”

As an NBA player for 13 seasons, Baker was an anomaly: a 6-11 forward who could shoot from the outside and dribble like a guard.

As a preacher, Baker is similarly gifted, speaking in a soothing, deep tone, cracking jokes, taking his time. Baker was a man in control as he delivered a sermon to the Abyssinian Baptist Junior Church on a Sunday in early January. So, it was a surprise that Baker, 41, chose to talk about his own failings, of blowing millions of dollars in his career, and struggling to come to terms with his relationship with God. And though he didn’t mention it, his failures all stemmed from an addiction to alcohol and with issues of depression — a one-two combination that destroyed his career and nearly killed him, he admits.

Still, he was standing there before the church group that day, clean and sober, looking trim, full of promise.

In the nearly two years since Baker has sworn off alcohol, he has worked hard to get his life together, abstaining from the hard liquor he favored after games.

Baker doesn’t attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or follow a 12-step program. But he does subscribe to a higher power. Since May, out of the public eye, in a basement of the Abyssinian Church in Harlem, Baker has served as a youth minister, running Sunday morning prayer services and counseling young adults in the evenings. He does this for no money, with little glamour or fanfare. He is no longer Vin Baker the Olympian, who once won 61 games alongside Gary Payton with the Seattle SuperSonics. He is far removed from that life.

Now, he is a student at Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan, studying to get his Master’s degree in divinity with the hopes of becoming a pastor, just like his father, who also struggled with alcohol and stopped drinking after a religious awakening at age 20. Baker lives in a sparse but pleasant two-bedroom dorm at Union, a change from the 9,613-square foot mansion in Connecticut he once called home.



Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/harlem-church-helps-nba-all-star-baker-rebound-life-booze-excess-article-1.1259642#ixzz2KSjyPB6I
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angrypuppy
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:18 pm    Post subject:

Well "Gin" Baker didn't save his money, but more importantly he saved his life.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:18 pm    Post subject:

Yes I read that entire article and despite it being 6 pages it didn't feel like it after I read it.


I'm happy for him I hope it sticks... I mean he had so much talent and it was totally wasted..
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject:

Despite his seeming "failures" in material accumulations ... he can now tell a story from a vantage point of true worth. As angrypuppy said it quite effectively ... he saved his life and, I would add ... perhaps, his soul.

And now ... he's using this unique opportunity (for that IS what he's using his life for) to pay it forward.

I wish him nothing but the best and God bless him for that.
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K28
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:26 pm    Post subject:

Why can't he just quit alcohol and leave it at that?

He's basically trading in one "addiction" for another.

Don't get me wrong...but whenever I hear a "born again" story, where a compulsive person turns their life around...and does it with religion, it's just gets one big eyeroll from me.

You are good through your thoughts and your actions, not through religion, which I would actually argue to be largely unnecessary in the quest to be "good".
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:41 pm    Post subject:

Supposedly his school-mate is Shawn Kemp. With the difference being, the latter is thinking of running an adoption counseling office.
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carlosLisboa
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:29 am    Post subject:

"Abyssinian" => African?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:34 am    Post subject:

Glad he's being proactive, hope everything works out well for him.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:28 am    Post subject:

Do it Mitch!
we need him for "Come to Jesus" sessions.
We have the exception for Hill, don't we?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:41 pm    Post subject:

Is there anything more cliche then, Dumb athlete, bangs ho's, uses substances, losses money, then finds god?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:14 pm    Post subject:

kray28_ wrote:
Why can't he just quit alcohol and leave it at that?

He's basically trading in one "addiction" for another.

Don't get me wrong...but whenever I hear a "born again" story, where a compulsive person turns their life around...and does it with religion, it's just gets one big eyeroll from me.

You are good through your thoughts and your actions, not through religion, which I would actually argue to be largely unnecessary in the quest to be "good".

Maybe because he is an alcoholic?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject:

Basketball Fan wrote:
Yes I read that entire article and despite it being 6 pages it didn't feel like it after I read it.


I'm happy for him I hope it sticks... I mean he had so much talent and it was totally wasted..




basically .... you just want what's best for him.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:01 pm    Post subject:

Of course he found god now.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject:

To some people, no redemption is credible until it's drenched in religious BS.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:22 pm    Post subject:

http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/07/28/former-nba-all-star-vin-baker-training-to-be-starbucks-manager/

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Former NBA All-Star Vin Baker training to be Starbucks manager

Vin Baker was in Las Vegas for NBA Summer League, working as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks. He was also there networking — what really goes on in Las Vegas, between scouts, GMs, coaches and the media. In Baker’s case, he was working to find an NBA assistant coaching job.

That didn’t seem to pan out, so he’s going to his fall back — owning a Starbucks.

Which means learning how to run a Starbucks. He is going through training on that now, something he talked about with Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal.

The world’s tallest, and perhaps most famous, barista is stationed behind a busy coffee counter. His smile and easy-going style welcome customers looking for their Starbucks fix as they fastbreak to work or South County’s beaches….

This is Vin Baker’s world these days. This is the same Baker who grew up in Old Saybrook, Conn., and went on to become one of New England’s all-time great collegiate basketball players at the University of Hartford. It’s the same Baker who won Olympic gold in 2000, played in four NBA All-Star Games and spent 13 years in the pros, including parts of two seasons with the Celtics.

It’s also the same Baker who battled alcoholism toward the end of his career. That addiction, plus a series of financial missteps ranging from a failed restaurant to simply too many hands dipping into his gold-plated cookie jar, combined to wipe out nearly $100 million in earnings.

Now 43, newly married and with four children, Baker is training to manage a Starbucks franchise.

Baker has experience and perspective that a lot of young NBA players could benefit from (at least those who would listen). But getting a foot in the door in the NBA is not easy, even for former All-Star players.

Whether owning or managing a Starbucks, what matters is that Baker is sober — four years now — and on a path that works for him. If you choose to view this as another athlete who blew through their money, ask yourself if you were an instant millionair at 20, with a lot of other perks thrown at you, how mature would your decisions have been?

I’ll see this as a case of redeption, of a guy who got his life back and under control. I’d love to see him back around the NBA, but if not in a Starbucks works, too.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:07 am    Post subject:

Who knows, maybe in 10 years he too will be asking for a Gulfstream.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:55 am    Post subject:

The church pays for the pastor using their tax free land and donations.. give them homes and salaries

I wish the world would stop demonizing alcohol.. People aren't alcoholics.. Alcohol never once lifted anyone's arm.. they are lazy and lack self respect/love. fix the self respect issues and the alcohol is somehow not a problem..hmm?
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:51 am    Post subject:

2CSBROS wrote:
Is there anything more cliche then, Dumb athlete, bangs ho's, uses substances, losses money, then finds god?


Not if you consider that it is actually someone's life.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:23 pm    Post subject:

ContagiousInspiration wrote:
The church pays for the pastor using their tax free land and donations.. give them homes and salaries

I wish the world would stop demonizing alcohol.. People aren't alcoholics.. Alcohol never once lifted anyone's arm.. they are lazy and lack self respect/love. fix the self respect issues and the alcohol is somehow not a problem..hmm?


Agree. Alcohol is somehow the effect not the cause.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:50 pm    Post subject:

Good for him. Whatever it takes to keep him there. Good for him.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:22 pm    Post subject:

K28 wrote:
Why can't he just quit alcohol and leave it at that?

He's basically trading in one "addiction" for another.

Don't get me wrong...but whenever I hear a "born again" story, where a compulsive person turns their life around...and does it with religion, it's just gets one big eyeroll from me.

You are good through your thoughts and your actions, not through religion, which I would actually argue to be largely unnecessary in the quest to be "good".


Or perhaps you simply don't understand.
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Fan0Bynum17
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:37 am    Post subject:

OregonLakerGuy wrote:
K28 wrote:
Why can't he just quit alcohol and leave it at that?

He's basically trading in one "addiction" for another.

Don't get me wrong...but whenever I hear a "born again" story, where a compulsive person turns their life around...and does it with religion, it's just gets one big eyeroll from me.

You are good through your thoughts and your actions, not through religion, which I would actually argue to be largely unnecessary in the quest to be "good".


Or perhaps you simply don't understand.


What an empty response, you can say that to anything.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 11:05 am    Post subject:

Fan0Bynum17 wrote:
OregonLakerGuy wrote:
K28 wrote:
Why can't he just quit alcohol and leave it at that?

He's basically trading in one "addiction" for another.

Don't get me wrong...but whenever I hear a "born again" story, where a compulsive person turns their life around...and does it with religion, it's just gets one big eyeroll from me.

You are good through your thoughts and your actions, not through religion, which I would actually argue to be largely unnecessary in the quest to be "good".


Or perhaps you simply don't understand.


What an empty response, you can say that to anything.


My response was exactly what I thought appropriate for the statement. If you think that being religious is the same as being an alcoholic then I suggest you respond with praise. Just don't expect me to think that it is particularly worthwhile or profound.
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Fan0Bynum17
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:18 pm    Post subject:

OregonLakerGuy wrote:
Fan0Bynum17 wrote:
OregonLakerGuy wrote:
K28 wrote:
Why can't he just quit alcohol and leave it at that?

He's basically trading in one "addiction" for another.

Don't get me wrong...but whenever I hear a "born again" story, where a compulsive person turns their life around...and does it with religion, it's just gets one big eyeroll from me.

You are good through your thoughts and your actions, not through religion, which I would actually argue to be largely unnecessary in the quest to be "good".


Or perhaps you simply don't understand.


What an empty response, you can say that to anything.


My response was exactly what I thought appropriate for the statement. If you think that being religious is the same as being an alcoholic then I suggest you respond with praise. Just don't expect me to think that it is particularly worthwhile or profound.


I'm not praising his post as much as I'm criticizing your lazy response, which, like I said, is empty and can be said just as validly (or invalidly) in resposne to pretty much anything.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:19 pm    Post subject:

https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/real-estate/commercial/2021/08/18/milwaukee-bucks-vin-baker-opening-treatment-center-people-addictions/8179356002/

Quote:
Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Vin Baker is opening a local treatment and recovery center for people with addictions


Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Vin Baker jokes with forward Giannis Antetokounmpo during a July practice at Fiserv Forum. Baker is opening an addiction treatment and recovery center on Milwaukee's northwest side.
Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Vin Baker, who's spoken about his battles with alcoholism, is opening a local treatment and recovery center for people with addictions.

Known as Vin Baker Recovery, the center is planned for 4757 N. 76th St., according to information filed with the city Department of Neighborhood Services.

Vin Baker Recovery, to be operated by Onalaska-based AMS of Wisconsin LLC, plans to use part of a two-story, 16,000-square-foot office building owned by St. Charles Youth and Family Services Inc., a nonprofit social services provider.

The treatment center is seeking a city occupancy permit for that site. It also will need a special use permit from the Milwaukee Board of Zoning Appeals

Baker played 13 years in the NBA, including from 1993 through 1997 with the Bucks.

He was named to the all-star team four times, three times as a Buck, and was part of the Bucks TV broadcast crew before being hired as an assistant coach in 2018.

Baker's story includes years of addiction.

He wrote about his struggles in his 2017 memoir "God and Starbucks: An NBA Superstar's Journey Through Addiction and Recovery."

Baker told the Los Angeles Times in July that he planned to open Vin Baker Recovery centers in Milwaukee.
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