How to Be A Champion at Anything You Choose to Do In Your Life ...Guaranteed

Tim McGaffin II and John Stockton, April 17, 1992

"You were our number two man," the assistant basketball coach said to me. I just failed to make the team and make my dream come true. Or, at least it appeared I failed. Remember, God never gives us a dream without also giving us the power to make that dream come true.

What Does It Mean To Be A Champion?

Shortly after turning 9 years old I made the choice to play professional basketball in the N.B.A. (National Basketball Association).

At this moment of choosing to play in the NBA, I created my dream and also made the commitment to making my dream come true.

One of the reasons I wanted to play in the NBA is because only the best of the best players are in the NBA. I wanted to be the best at something in my life because that would mean I am the best, that I am a Champion. If you can become the best at one thing, then you can become the best at anything you choose because you are the best.

Becoming an NBA basketball player is almost impossible. I wanted to prove all of our dreams always come true when we put our heart and soul into making them a reality. I wanted to prove no matter what or who you choose to be in your life that you will be whatever or whoever you choose.

Here Is Where The Fun Begins:

When I was 13 years old I tried out for the basketball team in 7th grade at Lakeridge Jr. High School...

....I failed.

I tried out again for the basketball team in 8th grade at Canyon View Jr. High School...

...I failed.

I tried out again in 9th grade at Canyon View...

...I failed.

I tried out again in 10th grade at Orem High School...

...I failed.

I tried out again in 11th grade at Timpanogos High School...

...I failed.

I tried out again in 12th grade at American Fork High School...

...I failed.

I went on a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to Portugal and came back home.

I had two major knee surgeries and had 5 screws added to my knees. 3 screws in my right knee, 2 screws in my left knee.

My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Kirt Kimball, said I had the worst knees he had ever seen in his entire career.

After waiting for more than 6 months for my knees to heal from the surgeries, I came back and tried out again for the basketball team at Utah Valley State College...

...I failed.

I transferred to the University of Utah and tried out for the basketball team in now my 3rd year of college...

...I failed.

The coaches really liked me because they saw how much I loved basketball and they saw I was never going to quit. They asked me if I wanted to be an equipment manager for the team.

I accepted and became an equipment manager for the University of Utah men's basketball team.

I tried out again for the team in now my 4th year of college.

....I failed.

I failed for the 9th consecutive time, spanning 12 years of consecutive failure.



The coaching staff invited me into the office and told me they could only add on one more player to the basketball team. They said unfortunately I was their second choice.

The coaches said if their first choice declined to accept the final roster spot, then I would be on the team instead.

But since their first choice did accept the final roster spot and I was the coaches' second choice and there was only room for one player, ...I didn't make it.

"You were our number two man," the assistant coach told me.

Before the University of Utah's second basketball game of the season this year, the team and I sat down to eat our pregame dinner.

During the dinner, one of the players began to speak to me in a mocking tone and manner and in a volume loud enough for everyone in the quiet dining room to hear. (This player is a very good person and I do not mean to falsely portray him in a negative way and that is why he remains anonymous.)

He (anonymous player) said he didn't believe the coaches were telling me the truth.

He said the coaches were lying to me when they said I was their second choice because they didn't want to hurt my feelings.

He said I would never be able to become a college basketball player because it is almost impossible.

"You want to be where we are, you want to be one of us, but you'll never be one of us. It's too hard," he told me.

I then responded by agreeing he was right that it is almost impossible.

"You're right, it is almost impossible to play basketball in college, to become a college basketball player," I said.

"And as difficult as it is to play basketball in college, it is even more difficult or even more impossible to play basketball in the NBA.

But I have done something that is so difficult, that not a single person in this room has done what I've done," I said, boldly to the entire team of players and assistant coaches eating dinner in this private hotel dining room.

At this point in the conversation everyone was looking over at the anonymous player and me, while listening intently to both of us.

"And not only has no one in this room done what I've done, but what I have done is so difficult that not even a single player in ALL of college basketball has done what I've done," I continued.

"And not only has no one playing in college done what I've done but also not even a single basketball player in ALL of the NBA has done what I've done.

And not only has no one in college or the NBA done what I've done, but not a single college or NBA basketball player PAST or PRESENT has done what I've done."

I then told him and everyone in the room, "What I have done is...

...No one has ever tried out to make a basketball team as many times in a row as I have and also failed as many times in a row as I have and still has not given up."

I went on to explain that at this point in my life I had now tried out to make the basketball team 9 consecutive times, spanning 12 years. I failed to make the team all 9 of those times, but I still have not quit!

"The main reason you're on the team is because you just happened to grow to be 7 feet tall. You didn't choose to be 7 feet tall. It just happened," I said to him.

"The door has always been opened for you. But the door has always been closed for me and yet I still keep choosing to continue to move forward by re-opening the door every time it shuts on me," I said.

I asked him, "If you would have failed to make your high school team one year would you have come back and tried out again to make the team a second time?"

"Uhh, yeah, you probably would have tried again," I told him, answering my own question I just posed to him....

I then asked him, if he would have failed two years in a row, would he have come back to do his best to try out again a third time in a row?

"Hmmm, maybe," I said to him...

Finally I told him, "...And I know without a doubt you would not have come back to try again a fourth time."

I explained:

I failed to make the basketball team 9 consecutive times.

9 Times!

And I have come back 9 consecutive times.

9 Times!

I still have not given up. I still have not quit.

Then I told him and everyone in the dining room, "I know the most difficult thing you can do in your life is to never quit or to get back up when you get knocked down.

And not only is 'Never Quitting' the most difficult thing you can do in your life, it is also the greatest thing you can do in your life. And I know the only types of people capable of 'Never Quitting' are Champions. A Champion is the greatest type of person you can become," I said.

Playing basketball in the NBA, or in college or anything else that might be seen as "great" in the eyes of the world is NOTHING compared to the power of the person who never gives up!

The only types of people who can rise again after failure or hard times are Champions!

The only types of people who can confront and conquer over fear are Champions!

The only types of people who are capable of never never never never never quitting are Champions!

The greatest type of person you can become in your life is a Champion!

Because I know when we come back after failure, come back after a negative time, come back after a difficult situation, we acquire divine qualities and attributes such as love, charity and service for others.

Because when we are down or hurting or suffering and we choose to not let the hard times keep us down we are choosing to be the BEST. We are choosing to be the GREATEST. We are choosing to be HAPPY.

A person who can choose to rise up in the most difficult of situations is a person who can never be stopped!!!

Nothing Can Stop You.

No One Can Stop You.

Nothing Can Stop You From Doing Your Best!

No One Can Stop You From Doing Your Best!

The person who chooses to be unstoppable is the truly "great" person and is seen by the eyes of God as being truly "great."

You are a Champion when you make the choice to be a Champion.

Anyone can choose to be a Champion if they truly desire to be one.

Yes, you can always choose to be whatever or whoever you truly desire.

Author: Timothy McGaffin II

Timothy McGaffin II


"Champions Never Never Never Never Never Never Never Never Never Quit." -Tim McGaffin II

P.S. "I am the greatest basketball player of all-time." ~Tim McGaffin II

"...I am the greatest of all-time not because I hold the WORLD RECORD for the Most Consecutive Failures Without Quitting to Make a Basketball Team but because I chose and did my absolute best and therefore I fulfilled my full potential.

Anyone who chooses and does their absolute best fulfills their full potential and becomes the greatest ever!

There is room enough for everyone at the top to be the greatest ever at whatever you choose to do or whoever you choose to become. Ask God to help you, then never never never never never never never quit and you will be the greatest ever! You will be a Champion!"

The Rest of the Story (In God's Own Way and Time!):

Our dreams are gifts from God.

My dream to play basketball and become the greatest basketball player ever came to me when I was 9 years old as an answer to my prayer asking God what I should do in my life.

Yes, you read that correctly, I did just say: “the greatest basketball player ever.” By the way, the answer to my prayer did not come right away. I kept praying over many months until I received my answer. Remember, never give up!

However, after receiving the answer to my prayer I thought in my flawed human understanding that in order for me to become the greatest basketball player ever I would need to play in the NBA (National Basketball Association). So because of that flawed understanding of mine, I focused on playing in the NBA to make my actual dream of becoming the greatest basketball player ever come true.

I did not go around telling my friends I wanted to become the greatest basketball player ever because I did not want to possibly be misunderstood. I did not want people falsely thinking of me as crazy or arrogant or something. I just wanted to be my best self and I knew that God wanted me to be my best self. Remember, my dream is a gift from God who wants every single one of us to finish in 1st place!

Instead, I told my friends I was going to play in the NBA because I thought I could only become the greatest basketball player ever by making it to the NBA. But as you learned from reading the short version of my story, I did not make it to the NBA. Not only did I not make it to the NBA, I did not even make any college, high school or junior high school teams.

So of course, I became discouraged when it seemed that God really was not with me. However, He was with me the entire time, the entire journey! He was with me because over and over again I became so inspired by my family and friends as I saw them not giving up and not quitting on their dreams.

Over and over again I heard the message to not give up, to keep going, to not quit! This message of "never quitting" constantly was communicated to me so that is all I focused on. I focused on one simple action: getting back up! I knew if I kept getting back up that somehow, someway God's dream that He gave me would come true by some miracle.

And the miracle did happen! It happened in a way I could never have possibly imagined! In fact my dream came true before I consciously recognized it came true.

In what seemed for a time to be my darkest hour was actually my miraculous triumph and victory!

After failing to make the team 9 consecutive times over 12 years. After overcoming the worst knees my orthopedic surgeon ever witnessed in his entire career. After working as hard as a human being could possibly work. After overcoming so many odds, this time I was only one person away from making the team and it seemed in the eyes of the world I was a failure.

Yet, in in the eyes of God I had done it!

I got back up!

What a great feeling! Correction: We did it! We did it together as a team! I did not do it alone. I could never have continued to keep going, over and over and over if God was not with me to help me along the entire journey.

God is on your team and is passing you the ball to make the game-winning shot! There is no possible way you can miss when He is on your team. All we have to do is keep getting back up with His help. Use your team to win. Do not try to win on your own because you cannot do it alone.

God does answer our prayers and cannot lie!

Pray and ask for help and understanding to see how He sees you, so you can recognize and know He is helping you to be the greatest ever.

..."The Best Is Yet To Come!" -Tim

See Also:
Pete Cummings: 3 Truths From the Greatest Basketball Player Ever on How to Make the Game-Winning Shot!


Destiny Fulfilled: Never Give Up or Quit On Your Dreams Because God Is With You

See the book:
Get the book, "Champions Never Quit: God Is Close By Your Side" by clicking here.

Champions Never Quit Book Cover Image

Champions Never Quit Books



  1. Thanks, Tim! I really enjoyed reading your article and the added part especially. Wow! You inspire me and also make me think about God and how different His ways are from our ways. You have really grown in character It's most important what God thinks of us than what people think and you not only get that but live it. These are things most folks only realize when they're very old and it's too late. It's so easy to have a great attitude when everything is going your way, but you have a great attitude all the time and it has become your lifestyle. I'm glad to know you exist in the world. Your a fresh breeze.

  2. Hi Patricia! Thank you! Thank you so much for your very sincere words. What profound things you said! The simple fact that you understood the message is proof that you are a Champion. Yea!! I really mean that, I'm not just saying that. You can't see or understand things if those things aren't also in you.

    As you said, if everything goes our way what have we learned? Except, that we can keep going when things are going good?? Instead, as you said so beautifully it is better to learn that we can keep going and have a positive attitude when things are at their worst!! During the hard times is when we need to exercise faith (don't give up) in order to learn and grow. Like you said, God's ways are not our ways and it's important to think about that and get excited because the best is yet to come!!!

    Stay in touch Patricia, -Tim

  3. Tim . . . Your story is very encouraging to me and reinforces my belief in myself that at the tender age of 61, I can still do anything God equips me to do, make my dreams come true and "Y-E-S" - Be the "CHAMPION" he designed me to be!

    Thanks & God Bless,

  4. Hi Alberta, Thank you! "Y-E-S" I love that! As long as we are doing everything that we can that is in our control, God will do the rest.

    It doesn't matter where we are in life, if we are putting forth our best effort than we are where we are supposed to be, -fulfilling what God has equipped us to do. And the eyes of the world won't see it but you will in God's own way and time.

    Thanks again and stay in touch, -Tim

  5. Tim:

    Congratulations on your strong will to always keep going. That is a great trait. I am glad that we have the opportunity to play together at the HYPER and now on a rec league. You do a great job and I can always count on you to give 110%. You are the best.

    Dale Richards

  6. Thanks Dale!

    I consider our time of playing basketball together in our pick up games and in the rec league a gift.

    I have experienced many miracle moments playing with you.

    You have achieved the impossible and reached the pinnacle of basketball. You never let so-called "limitations" stop you from giving your best effort and these moments is when I've experienced those miracles with you.

    You are a real teammate and truly the greatest Dale. (Not an exaggeration)