Louisville's Siva fueled by Christian faith

Published: Tuesday, March 19 2013 5:30 a.m. MDT

Peyton Siva Jr., is a senior point guard for the Louisville Cardinals (29-5), the top overall seed in this year's NCAA tournament.

Siva, who led Louisville to the Final Four last season, and the Cardinals will face either Liberty or North Carolina A&T in a second-round game on Thursday.

Many know that Siva serves as a team co-captain, averages 10 points, 2.3 steals and 5.9 assists a game, and is the all-time steals leader in school history.

Many may not know the story of his tough upbringing or devout Christian faith.

Eli Saslow wrote about Siva's remarkable story for ESPN the Magazine last November. The point guard grew up in a dysfunctional environment of wayward family members, drugs and gang activity, yet Siva found a way to shine a positive light toward others.

"He became the magnet for his extended family, eager to share his own successes and willing to accept their burdens as his own. He would not live like they did if he always worked to help them," Saslow wrote. "He dumped out his brother's beer bottles. He counseled an uncle through addiction. He saved up a little money to help buy schoolbooks for his mother so she could earn a college degree. To push back against the temptations of gang life, he essentially started his own gang, inviting a dozen people to sleep over at his mother's house on the weekends under her supervision, staying up all night playing video games and drinking Capri Sun by the case, turning troubled acquaintances into friends and friends into roommates."

In late December, Nicole Auerbach wrote a similar piece about Siva for USA Today. The article describes Siva's relationship with his former youth pastor, Danny Cage, who likes to text Bible verses to the star basketball player. The article also reports that Siva wears No. 3 to represent the Trinity: the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.

"My son is my rock," Peyton Sr. said in the USA Today article. "When the pressure's on me, I can always count on my son to talk to. Wherever he's at, he'll take time out to talk to me. … The encouraging words that come out of him, it's healing."

Patheos.com, a faith-based website, also highlighted Siva with an article about his incredible story.

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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