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Lou Nanne, Minnesota Wild Draft pick, Hockey

by carmine on September 11, 2014

Hello! My name is Louie Nanne and I am from Edina, Minnesota. Currently I am playing hockey at RPI in Troy, New York. Growing up, faith did not play a very prominent role in my life. Both my family and I were regular attenders at church. Regular meaning Christmas and Easter… At a young age hockey oea6stm8_400x400consumed my life. Now I dont mean consumed, I mean CONSUMED! I skated 7 days a week and trained every day aswell. Both my father and grandfather were pro Hockey players, so I had soo much to live up to! At times it felt like the shoes were too big to fill, but I was always up for the challenge. I loved being in the limelight as a kid, not gonna lie. But little did I know that would all catch up to me soon enough. As my life progressed and my name started to catch up to me, sadness began to creep into my life.

I started to turn my gaze away from hockey for no apparent reason. I wanted something more. I was invited to a youth group in 8th grade, where I was a ‘hot shot’ at. I loved people noticing me while I was there and I loved the food and fun that came along with the church. Although it was the wrong motives that kept me there, it was meant to be. In February of that year I went to church just like every other Wednesday, but this time we were going to cover Jesus’ walk to the cross by watching the passion of the Christ. Previously I knew Jesus to be a perfect and holy man, but I had no clue all He had to suffer to grant us all the key to eternal life. He was tormented, beaten, whipped and hung on a cross to be humiliated and left to die just to show His love for us all. That night my heart was truly changed. From then on out I proclaimed myself to be a Christian, but I had yet to change my lifestyle.

Going into high school, the pressure was on me to make the high school team. I had been training all summer for it, and made the team. I was finally on the highest level team in my city. I was the hot shot at the school, and seemed to have everything going for me. But, a few months in, after everyone began to look up to me as being popular, a kid by the name of Chris approached me in the hall. He was in a walker and I never knew him beforehand. But he came down the hall yelling my name. After a long talk with the kid and skipping class, what I got out of it was that the kid had asked me to coach his adapted floor hockey team which, at the time, I thought was crazy. I told him that I would get back to him as soon as I Nannecould. After some prayer, it hit me.. I had to do it. So, as I was sitting at the ‘popular’ table at lunch, I stood up and took off. I looked back once I sat down at the special needs table, and I realized that I had suddenly become the laughing stock of the lunch room. But this time was different. I was totally at ease. I told Chris that I would help out with his team, which in turn meant that I would have to quit the baseball team.

From that day on, I began to jump around the lunch room and sit with people who were all alone, or people who looked like they needed a friend. It was awesome! My heart was starting to grow bold and help me reach out. Chris was a perfect representation of Jesus to me. He had all the odds against him, yet he was totally content and happy with all that he had and he shed light into the live of all those who he crossed paths with. As the next three years passed, I was a good kid at highschool with a good heart to reach out. Although there was one thing that I lacked enough of, Jesus.

After my junior year in high school I was fortunate enough to play for the USA U-18 team as well as getting drafted into the NHL by the Minnesota Wild. I was on top of the world! Until they called… It finally dawned on me that juniors, what most kids have to do, was going to be the next step for me. I was such a home body that the thought of leaving pained me so much to the point of driving me crazy. Not only was I leaving the state, but I had to leave the country to play in Penticton, BC in Canada. It started out with me going to church every Sunday and youth groups on Wednesday. I thought that was enough. But as Christmas rolled around, depression set in. I realized that hockey was a broken world and I was living in it.

Nanne_slideI called the coach and I was ready to pack up and quit hockey for good, but he had one request for me and that was that I met up with the chaplain on the hockey team. So, all packed up and ready to go home, I met with the chaplain, and thank God i did. He talked some sense in to me and told me to be bold about my faith and live it out with actions and words, not just internally. So, I took his advice and began reaching out to the guys on the team. Little did I know I was not the only one seeking something more.

Ill cut to the chase and say that by the end of the year, I was the happiest man alive and just by offering a seat at church to teammates, they started to come. 7 came to Christ and 16 came in total. Praise God for that! So, here I am today, a Christian playing hockey, not a hockey player who happens to be Christian. God guys and God girls must be bold, humble, and forgiving. We are all sinners saved by grace and must all live our lives as a living testimony – pointing our successes to God.

“I am a Christian who happens to be an athlete, not an athlete who happens
to be a Christian.”

God Bless, Louie Nanne.

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