News Release

US High School Basketball Champion Puts Faith First in Germany

American national high school basketball champion Nick Emery received recruiting offers from several American universities’ powerhouse sports programs, but instead of shooting hoops in front of enthusiastic crowds, Emery chose to support a different team—in Germany.

Emery, considered a Top 50 basketball player in the United States, is a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Currently stationed in the Frankfurt area, the former Lone Peak High School basketball star put his athletic career on hold last May in order to serve a two-year mission.  

“I chose to serve a mission because I love serving my Savior,” Emery said. “He has given us so much and it has affected my life dramatically.”

Emery and his teammates gained national recognition in 2012 and 2013 following a nearly perfect win-loss record and several championship wins.  Emery, however, said he has discovered a different kind of fulfillment through diligent missionary service.

“A mission is rewarding because as we teach people, you can really see a change in their lives and how it benefits them,” Emery said. “I think that’s been the number one thing I’ve recognized on my mission—the satisfaction that comes with sharing our message every day.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' missionary program is one of its most recognized characteristics. Mormon missionaries can be seen on the streets of hundreds of major cities in the world as well as in thousands of smaller communities.

The missionary effort is based on the New Testament pattern of missionaries serving in pairs, teaching the gospel and baptizing believers in the name of Jesus Christ (see, for example, the work of Peter and John in the book of Acts).

More than 80,000 missionaries are serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at any one time. Most are young people under the age of 25, serving in more than 400 missions throughout the world.

Following his mission, Emery will play basketball for Brigham Young University, returning, he hopes, stronger than before.  

“A mission develops your leadership skills and helps you recognize your weaknesses and turn them into strengths,” Emery noted. “To me, it relates to basketball in a lot of different ways and I’ve learned so much.”

The US daily newspaper Deseret News recently published two articles about Emery and his team. To learn more, visit the articles here and here.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.