"It's A Miracle; Illinois Heading to The Final Four - The Handwriting Was On The Shoes" / The Rugged Elegance Inspiration Network

On the Eve of Easter, Saturday, March 26th 2005, the University of llinois Men's Basketball team performed a miracle.

The Fighting Illini completed one of the most dramatic comebacks in NCAA history by resurrecting themselves from a 15-point deficit with four minutes left in the game to defeat the Arizona Wildcats, 90 - 89 in overtime.

People have called Illinois a team of destiny. This has been their year from the start. But perhaps they are a team of providence.

At least one person on the team credited divine intervention for the miracle.

The handwriting wasn't actually on the wall. In tonight's case, it was on Roger Powell's shoes.

Powell, a Pentecostal minister nicknamed "Rev" by his teammates, went up for a dunk in the closing minutes and the ball rattled around the rim four or five times before it went in. If he had missed that shot, the Illini might have lost.

So what was on Powell shoes that he so proudly pointed at after Illinois claimed victory?

Both shoes were festooned with Bible verses.

"JESUS was written in black ink on his right shoe along with a reference to Philippians 4:13.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

"CHRIST" was on his left shoe along with a reference to Isaiah 41:10.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Great words to inspire a comeback, especially one of Biblical proportions.

Inspire & Be Inspired. We were!

Here's to healthy, adventuresome, soulful and "coming back from the dead" living!