Niko Palazeti

Episode 99

21 DEC 2020

The Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning for football at Ohio State University. He previously worked in similar positions at the University of Maryland and at Mississippi State University. As a student-athlete he was a three-year member of the Michigan State football team after having been an all-state football player for Detroit Catholic Central High School. Listen for the extremely powerful testimony that he shares about suffering a career-ending injury!

Guest quotes:

“The thing that was really exciting for me was I was in all these sports, all these different activities, with all these guys and they were my friends, but they were going to the high school that I was going to, and they were also parish members at Our Lady of Victory Church in Northville, Michigan… It kind of all was a perfect transition into a path into the church.”

“I was blessed enough to get a full ride scholarship to Michigan State to play football there… It was divine… it was a miracle.”

“They really do an incredible job of teaching you what it looks like to be a man of God… and to exude that in everything you do.”

“I was blessed enough and I do honestly believe that I was put to Michigan State… potentially not even to play football but to get into my career path.”

“My identity was based on who I was as a football player.  Unfortunately, the reality was that it was part of who I was.  It was part of how people identified me.  It was how I kind of communicated myself to others, was that I played football.  And it was a part of who I was.”

“I drove back to my apartment, punching the steering wheel, cursing God.  I was furious.  I was crying.  I was upset.”

“I just remember going and just praying, and just praying and being still and it allowed me to just be still in the fact and God really kind of spoke to my heart, and I just prayed that whatever His intentions for my life was, that I trust it and allow Him to work through me.  And it was a simple prayer, but I just remember feeling a lot of peace.”

“When you play college football, when you play college athletics, when you play athletics in general, it’s very stressful because a lot of times you’re performance-based.  But you’re performance-based because you think that your success determines your value.”

“In the spring of 2013, me and my best friends, we all went to South Africa… on a mission trip and it was incredible.”

“What are you worshiping?  Are you worshiping your sport?  Are you worshiping your career?  Are you worshiping your value or your worth or whatever?  Your reputation?  What are you valuing?  What are you worshiping?”

“(My wife) has actually been leading an Advent reading every Sunday.  And I think that’s really cool because a lot of times in our relationship I’ve been the one that’s been leading our faith life.”

Related link:

Niko’s bio on OSU website