I am so glad that I found this article 15 months after it was written... What an
inspiring story... One would have to be without feelings and emotion to not be
moved by it... I'm 61, don't consider myself overly emotional... I
have raised 6 kids and all of us have attended and graduated from BYU (almost
all, one graduated from Utah State)... I have tears running down my cheeks after
reading this... What an inspiration Jeff Chatman has been to so many people... I
am so looking forward to Jordan's time as a Cougar Basketball player...
What a time to be a Cougar fan.
I have known Jeff since he played at BYU and have always had a huge amount of
respect for him, he is the real deal. With all of his success he maintained the
quiet humility that his mother taught him. He was one of the greatest players
ever at BYU and if he didn't have to share the ball with Mike Smith he
would have been one of the top scorers in school history. I knew Chat had
converted to the church and that he has always been very active but I never knew
the details of his conversion, it was truly inspiring to hear about the path
that led him to BYU and the Church. Like someone mentioned above, his story
makes me want to pick up my activity in the church and do a little more. Great
Always love to read inspiring stories like this. it always strengthening my
testimonies of the church. keep those story's coming,
Love the story of Chatman running out on the Spectrum floor in Logan one night
before a game with the Aggies and he saw an African American referree and he
goes up to him and puts his arm around the referree and points to the crowd
saying, "Ref, look at all those white faces out there....let's you and
I be on the same team tonight and help each other out."
NOT for me!
Chat is on my list of top ten favorite BYU b-ball players...maybe top five! I
loved watching that sweet turnaround floater!! It always went in the hoop!!Great story!
I can't believe you forgot to mention all our "chat"s as employees
of the BYU grounds crew, ha.....you were a great person ALL your life, your mom
raised a great person, and he turned out to be a great man. (it still cracks me
up remembering seeing you drive away in that 77 honda civic hatchback you bought
from me....haha, knees up over the steering wheel, makes me chuckle still) Loved watching you play too, the original Mr. Automatic......tell Leah and
Thanks!Clayton Christensen visited here (Finland) this week. We talked
about our time at BYU. Clay playing basketball and I as a student trainer ... We
reminisced about what makes BYU the great place it is. We talked about Floyd
(Johnson) who was "just" an equipment manager and Rod (Kimball) and Marv
(Roberson) and ond and on. How We were surrounded by spiritual GIANTS that were
happy, gentle examples to us. When we look back, and remember ... They made BYU
the GREAT place it is. - What a privilege we had.
Wow, that was a good read. For someone who has struggled on and off with belief
in the church, this really put me in a positive mood and spirit.
Jeff came to the Soviet Union with my company to teach the 100 American and 100
Russian youths on a special youth cruise up the Volga River. Jeff was a hit with
the kids and couldn't believe it. We asked him to speak on personal
integrity and goal setting. He thought it was so basic that no one would be
interested let alone a bunch of teenagers. Leah was also very well received and
impressed everyone. Jeff lives across the river from Portland near
my sister-in-law and they have been good friends in the ward. Jeff and Leah have
had a great influence on everyone by just being good, normal people. He used to
play church ball but gave that up when it turned into jungle ball and guys
wanting to test themselves against a top college player.All the best
to Jeff, Leah and the fam.
I love conversion stories and this one is so inspiring. I wouldn't
typically read a sports story but this one kept me interested to the very end.
I too am a convert and had the difficulty of my parents concern about my
baptism. It was the best decision I ever made and I agree with Jeff. The
gospel is for everybody!
@UU2I too thank you for your comment. Fans on both sides can sure
learn from you on how to be passionate about your team and still be civil and
respectful of the other side. Thanks for being such a classy fan. Wish all
fans are like you. About the article, I thought it was a very
touching story of how the gospel changed the life of a special young man and the
happiness he found as a result. It's great to hear that he had great
success as an athlete at the Y, but it's even more impressive that his life
has been blessed beyond measure as a result of his experience there. The Lord
surely have his hand in the details of Mr. Chatman's life. Thanks for
Great story. With a degree in speech comunication I'd be interested to
know some more of his career path. I believe he worked for Word Perfect for a
while and then Microsoft. I'm assuming he did well enough to make a move
into the business world. I believe he was also a bishop at one time. Looking forward to seeing his kids play at BYU. I was glad to see that he has
other sons in the pipeline as well.
@Cougar Passion"The major problem, in my opinion, has been the LDS
fans that are actively against BYU."I think the issue that
drives some LDS fans to be strongly against BYU is that since it's the
church school, there are going to be some people that will think better of
people who go there, and consequentially, think less of people who go somewhere
else. This could be annoying for some people, it's kinda like the
serving/not-serving a mission thing except obviously the church cares more about
the mission than college choice. I know at the family ward I went to (obviously
this never came up at the student wards) I was asked by people a few times why I
didn't go to BYU as if it were something that needed explanation. Though I
generally liked BYU and even now at Utah and as an ex-mormon I only view it in a
friendly rivalry sense rather than any sort of hate. I'm smart enough to
know that only a few Cougars are self-righteous about being BYU students/alumni
so I see no reason to hold that against everyone else.
Jeff, thank you for being such a great example to all, including my family!
Amazing wife too!
Good to hear from you again Jeff. What a fine man and more to come with another
fine young kids.
Thank you, UU32, for your comment. I am not from Utah, and bore no ill will
toward the UofU growing up. I even cheered for them under Rick Majerus when
they went to the NCAA Championship Game. My attitude changed in a major way
when I moved to the Salt Lake Valley. The major problem, in my opinion, has
been the LDS fans that are actively against BYU. I can of course deal with
those who aren't LDS that don't like BYU. But my experiences outside
of Utah have shown time and again the positive impact BYU's athletic
success has for the image of the Church in the eyes of those not of our
faith--again, outside of Utah, which encompasses, oh, just a few more people
than inside Utah. So it's nice to run into the occasional LDS fan of the U
that can nevertheless see the good BYU does.
Jeff is one of those guys that makes me (as a Utah fan) really appreciate the
mission of BYU and its athletic programs. This is why I cheer for BYU and its
athletes along with the Utes. The rivalry (particularly as an LDS fan) seems
silly when you think about the actual individual lives of each athlete, coach,
etc. I know we all get caught up in it from time to time, but its nice to get a
reminder every once in a while about what is really important and how athletics
can be an influence for good in individual lives. Thanks Jeff for your
leadership by example.
I knew that Jeff had joined the Church, and I remembered thinking a few years
ago that I never heard anything more about him after he left BYU. I was also
thinking that if he had kids, they would shortly be nearing college age, and
wondered if any followed in Dad's footsteps and played high-level
basketball. It was not long after that, that I started to hear about his son
Jordan--that made me happy as a BYU sports fan. But more importantly, I'm
glad to finally hear Jeff's story. The Gospel is indeed for everybody. I
know we must walk a fine line to lead others to it without our efforts being
viewed negatively, but how I wish I could help others to see the benefits of
having and living the truth. And this comes from someone who knows both sides
of the fence.
With some research you could find the Birmingham paper article about the rural
black kid going to BYU and raising some questions about his adjustments. It
would be a great followup story for that Birmingham paper.
Makes me almost re-consider and becoming active LDS again. Usually, I criticize
people who claim certainty, and I don't believe them. Jeff Chatman's
claims of certainty, accompanied as they are with realness and reasons, are more
difficult to dismiss. Not sure I can dismiss his reasons for his claims.I still can't stand sitting through the lame meetings.Trent Toone and Jeff Chatman, almost you persuade me to consider the LDS word
One of my favorite ball players ever at BYU! I still remember those
"soft" turnaround jumpers that he made with amazing regularity. It is
interesting how fans get caught up in the sports side of things, but behind the
scenes events are transpiring that are REALLY important and have eternal
consequences. It makes the importance of winning look petty at best.Thanks for your positive example, Jeff. You are truly an inspiration! We all
look forward to following your kids at BYU for years to come!
Great article. I remember when he played at BYU he referred to himself as the
team and everyone else was the "token white guy". Great sense of humor.
Excited for his kids to come play.
I enjoyed reading this article as well. That is right up until I realized it was
8 pages. Without all the details, I still see Chatman's story as compelling
and do remember him as a solid player back in the day. It doesn't seem that
long ago. Oh how the years go by.
I loved this story, thanks for publishing it. Congratulations to Jeff on a well
Thanks for being a great example Jeff! We look forward to watching your son play