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'It's the Reason I Wear 23': Phoenix Suns' Cameron Johnson Shares Divine Meaning Behind Jersey Number

10-02-2021
YouTube Screenshot: Cameron Johnson/Phoenix Suns
YouTube Screenshot: Cameron Johnson/Phoenix Suns

For many athletes, their jersey number is connected to a specific meaning or memory. Phoenix Suns' basketball player Cameron Johnson recently shared why he proudly wears the number 23.

During a press conference about the upcoming season, the 25-year-old explained that his family and an important role model inspired him to don the number.

"It comes from my grandma," Johnson said. "My grandma, she's a prayer warrior to the fullest extent, and she kind of told my dad to use this Bible verse as a prayer every time you go into a game, into a competition, into an important meeting, whatever it may be. And he instilled that down into me."

He continued, "So Psalm 23 has been a verse I've always said before every game and then I say now during the national anthems. I've said it during the national anthems since high school but it's the reason I wear 23. I was also a huge fan Jordan fan growing up so 23 is a huge number of significance to me."

Psalm 23 assures us that there is nothing to fear because our Heavenly Father will always be there.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

For two years, Johnson wore the number 13 while playing basketball for the University of North Carolina. He returned to 23 after signing on with the Suns in 2019.  

"There is no number that has the tie to me as 23 does because of Psalm 23 and because of ... my middle name is Jordan and I watched Jordan videos growing up like none other," Johnson stated.

The number is even listed in his Instagram page, where he routinely references his faith.

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