Impact Story: Emily Ortiz

By John Brown University
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Junior sports medicine major, Emily Ortiz says she is looking forward to playing basketball in the new Bill George Arena once construction is complete.


"I can't wait for the chance to play in a place that will bring both inspiration and a whole new sense of pride to our team and the JBU community," says Ortiz.


The 38,000 square-foot Bill George Arena is a key initiative of the Keeping Faith $110M Capital Campaign. The multipurpose facility will provide much-needed space for athletic events, commencement and other JBU gatherings.

emily ortiz

For gifted athletes like Ortiz, a strong athletics program is a top consideration when deciding which university to attend. Ortiz says that initially, the opportunity to continue playing basketball caused her to consider JBU, but when she learned about the challenging academics, intimate size, and Christian community that JBU also had to offer, she knew her search was over.


"Ultimately, I'm just thankful that God used basketball to bring me here," says Ortiz. "It has become a place where I have grown so much in finding out who I am, but more importantly-who I am in Christ."


Ortiz says that JBU has not only given her a quality education, but has also prepared her for life.


"Being at JBU has taught me that it really doesn't matter much what our work is or who we work for," says Ortiz. "What matters most is the way in which we work-if we are working for the kingdom."


Ortiz serves on the leadership team for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Champions of Character. Basketball has been a big part of her life since she began playing in first grade. She says the sport has taught her teamwork, discipline and time-management, and has also brought important friends into her life.


"Through playing basketball at JBU, I have come to see more and more the ways God can use this sport to open doors," say Ortiz. "At JBU I've had the opportunity to play for a team that prays before practices, has team Bible studies, and serves others through mission trips. All these opportunities have happened because of the passion God has given me to throw a rubber ball through a hoop."


When asked about her most memorable moment of playing basketball at JBU, Ortiz doesn't hesitate.


"It has to be our game last year at Oklahoma Christian. We were down by fifteen points at halftime, but we came back to win! It's always exciting to pull together, come from behind, and win against a good team."