The stands were filled with basketball fans this Saturday for the Indiana Christian State Tournament (ICST). Four high school male teams and four female teams competed for the state championships. The ICST is an organization that broadcasts Indiana high school sports and also seeks to promote Christian values to athletes and families.
Twenty years ago, Keith Meyers founded the ICST on the principle of providing the same opportunity to Christian schools as public schools for a state championship, but with a Christian setting. “The premise is to tell people about Jesus,” he said, even saying that his role as director of the ICST has brought himself closer to Christ. Meyers, a self-proclaimed sports enthusiast, was paralyzed as a young man until the age of fifteen, and was told to find something he could devote himself to. “I fell in love with Jesus and basketball.”
“I hope that people see this weekend that it’s not about sports, it’s about relationships and the family of God, that the talent these kids have been given is for the glory of God,” said Meyers. “Their talent is not meant to be about the individual, it’s a form of worship.”
“Sports are a great way to reach out to people. Everybody likes sports,” said Debbie Meyers, wife of Keith Meyers, director. “We have seen many referees, even athletic directors, turn their lives around.”
The tournament had a large turn-out and had a vibrant, youthful vibe that never waned. In between games, songs like “Joyful Noise” by Flame pumped through the speakers. Cheers of students and families roared through the community center as the players competed for the state championship title. The Indiana Sports Radio Network reported the plays and scores live from the elevated track.
“The ICST is a great opportunity for players not involved in public schools for a post-season experience,” said Anthony Beasley, Athletic Director and head coach of Horizon Christian Academy in Ft. Wayne.
Coach Beasley said that he loves coming to Faith Community Center for the ICST because it is a “well-maintained, friendly environment.” Main Street Cafe sold a variety of foods to keep the stands focused on the game. The TV above the cafe played the current tournament game live, so that guests could watch what was happening while waiting in line.