PFB contributor Matt Amilian gave me the idea the other day that I should start interviewing former players to see what they’re up to. I said “ok, that sounds great, but who should we start with?” So he ran with it and had a nice little chat with Jason Skaer. Hopefully we’ll do a lot more of these in the future.
Hope you guys enjoy…
If he left a bitter taste in your mouth for transferring to Rice for his senior season, I hope you’re past that by now but if not, hopefully my conversation with Jason Skaer will lead you to wipe his slate clean. The former O-State forward is now the lead pastor of the Church at Alden Bridge in The Woodlands, TX.
How did he get there? Why did he leave Stillwater for a school like Rice? Which OSU teammate would he want throwing down with him if he got in a scuffle at the Weed? It’s all here if you want to catch up with this former Cowboy.
Matt: Why did you transfer to Rice from OSU for your senior season?
Jason: I had a hunger to be utilized more offensively within the system (run more plays for me, allow me to post up, etc). In hindsight however this is probably the foolish mindset of most young players who always want more shots, more points, and more attention.
Matt: How long did you play in Europe professionally and what NBA teams were you affiliated with when you played in the US?
Jason: I tried out for the Houston Rockets on two occasions and was cut both times. I played some in China, Italy, France, and Qatar (covering about 3 years) but the bulk of my overseas career was with a team outside of Vienna, Austria. In the inaugural season of the NBDL I was also drafted by the Mobile Revelers (in Alabama) where I played for a brief time (less than one season).
Matt: Why did you decide to change career paths and get into vocational ministry?
Jason: I did not grow up in a Christian home and thus did not take a Christian mindset with me to OSU. The transformation happened during my first year overseas in Austria when I read the Bible for the first time (cover to cover) and realized that my priorities were all out of whack. Instead of living for my own glory (intellect, strength, riches, fame) God calls us to live for His glory. Primarily this means putting our faith in Jesus Christ. It’s hard to believe that 10 years later I’m a pastor in The Woodlands. God truly does have a sense of humor and is a worker of miracles and grace.
Matt: I read that you lost $129,500 through the David Salinas scam. You have a different (and very respectable) viewpoint on losing that amount of money. What did you learn from the experience that you can pass on to others?
Jason: Unfortunately YES we were victimized by the Salinas scandal like many other athletes and coaches. While certainly experiencing the normal emotions of anger, sadness, and embarrassment, my previously described faith in Jesus Christ has given me a radically different perspective than I would have had prior to coming to faith. The Bible says that all of the “stuff” of this world is temporary and we need to put our trust in Him. I’ve been given the blessing of living this out in a unique way. See Proverbs 23:4-5.
Matt: You’re a married man with a wife and 2 kids. Any chance James and Jude will grow up to be Pokes? I don’t know if you keep up with OSU bball these days, but they could really use some depth right now.
Jason: James and Jude are big dudes (though only 2 years old and 8 months old). And their mom (wife Suzanne) is 6 foot tall so they might have a shot. I’d be happy and proud if they ever were given the opportunity to play for OSU. I have a lot of fond memories of my time there.
Matt: So I’ll ask that now…do you follow OSU basketball/football? Thoughts on the current state of the program?
Jason: Obviously the football program is thriving and the basketball program is still trying to find its way, which is a bit of a reversal of fortunes from the time I was there. Either way, it’s always fun to turn on the tube and root for the Cowboys.
Matt: Who was the most talented guy you played with at OSU?
Jason: Big Country took us to the Final Four so it’d be hard to argue with him. Randy Rutherford was also a stud. It was a privilege to play with both of them.
Matt: Did you have a particular teammate you were personally close with?
Jason: Chianti Roberts and I were pretty good friends back then, though I haven’t talked to him in years.
Matt: Which OSU teammate would you have wanted to have your back in a fight?
Jason: Maurice Robinson was one tough dude. Nobody would want to mess with him.
Matt: Describe Eddie Sutton in 3 words:
Jason: One Great Coach!
Matt: I see your church does missions in the Philippines. Does your church ministry cross paths with the Tebows’ ministry? I bet you didn’t expect me to find a way to sneak Tim Tebow into this discussion, huh? I highly doubt your church is connected, but I had to ask!
Jason: Tebow finds his way into every conversation these days. Though we are partnered with a church in the Philippines, NO we are not affiliated with him…thought that might be fun.
Matt: If there’s one audio sermon you would want PFB followers to hear, which one would you pick? http://www.tcaab.org/audio_sermons.
Jason: We’re preaching through Galatians right now and the sermon from Galatians 3:1-6 called “Thanks God I’ll Take It From Here” would be a good introduction into my sermons and the basics of the Christian faith.