Grace College men’s basketball assistant coach and seminary student Jarrod Lovette (pictured) is enjoying his summer by playing for the Elkhart Express in the International Basketball League. He is featured in a lengthy article in the LaCross (WI) Tribune. Here is a short excerpt. To read the entire article, click on http://www.lacrossetribune.com:80/articles/2007/07/21/sports/00lovette.txt
Lovette will share his belief that he wouldn’t be where his today without his faith. How his relationship with God has blessed him with many riches. A beautiful wife. A home in Winona Lake, Ind., home of Grace College, and a job as the men’s basketball team’s strength and conditioning coach. An opportunity to attend the school’s seminary and pursue his dream of being a missionary. . .
. . . Lovette began speaking. He told his audience about the mistakes he had made during his time at Marquette, and the years after he graduated. The way he had dabbled in drugs, including marijuana and cocaine. For the first time, he shared that he had attempted suicide in December 1998, leading to his departure from Marquette.
He returned for one game in January 1999, but a panic attack during a game against DePaul ended his college career. He graduated in 1999, but since then he had drifted from job to job — substitute teacher, bartender, disc jockey, counselor for troubled juveniles. . .
. . . Grace College was the first stop on AIA’s 2005 tour, and Jennifer Lovette, then Jennifer Kessler, was there to watch the game. Her father, Jim, had been Grace’s head coach for nearly 30 years. She had been a fixture at home games since she was a little girl. The fact she was in her late 20s and older than her father’s players was starting to make her feel a little uncomfortable.
Jennifer noticed that Lovette had graduated from college the same year that she had. She thought he was a nice guy when they were introduced after the game, but he sure didn’t talk much. Their next conversation, over the telephone, lasted four hours. He told her she could call him again if she wanted. She told him he could call her. It took Lovette five days to do so.
Lovette had left his job in Minnesota, and had planned to play professional basketball in Australia. But he returned to Winona Lake to see Jennifer during Christmas break. He told her everything about his past on their second date, but she wasn’t scared away. She remembers praying for a sign to show if Lovette was indeed her soulmate.
Only Lovette and Jennifer know what happened next. But they were talking marriage on their next date. They were engaged three months later. They were married on June 3, 2006.