When most athletes pick out their jersey number, there is usually a significant reason behind their choice. Cameron Johnson, power forward for the Phoenix Suns’, expressed why his jersey number 23 means so much to him.

In a recent press conference about the forthcoming season, the professional basketball player explained that a particular family member substantially impacted his faith, which motivated him to choose that number.

“It comes from my grandma,” the 25-year-old explained. “My grandma, she’s a prayer warrior to the fullest extent, and she kind of told my dad to use this Bible verse as a prayer every time you go into a game, into a competition, into an important meeting, whatever it may be. And he instilled that down into me.”

The PA native shared how he carries on the tradition taught to him as a child, “So Psalm 23 has been a verse I’ve always said before every game, and then I say now during the national anthems. I’ve said it during the national anthems since high school, but it’s the reason I wear 23. I was also a huge fan Jordan fan growing up, so 23 is a huge number of significance to me.”

According to the Bible, Psalm 23 guarantees us that we shouldn’t be afraid of anything because our Lord and Savior is always right there with us.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.

He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Johnson sported the number 13 on his jersey while playing for the University of North Carolina’s Men’s basketball team. In 2019, he gladly returned to the sentimental number 23 after being the first round draft pick for the Phoenix Suns.

“There is no number that has the tie to me as 23 does because of Psalm 23 and because my middle name is Jordan, and I watched Jordan videos growing up like none other,” Johnson declared.

His number even appears in his Instagram bio, where he frequently mentions his Christian faith. “Isn’t God good…Thank you, @suns; let’s get to work!” the NBA player wrote as the caption to one of his posts.

More from Beliefnet and our partners