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Nick Foles has a calling far greater than throwing touchdown passes.

If Foles leads the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots Dont'a Hightower Jersey , he’ll become a folk hero in a city that has desperately waited for a championship since 1960.

But that won’t define Foles in the big picture. He has more important plans for his future.

”I want to be a pastor in a high school,” Foles said Thursday. ”It’s on my heart. I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary. I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith. It’s a challenge because you are writing papers that are biblically correct. You want to impact people’s hearts.”

Foles is part of a team that has a strong Christian brotherhood. MVP contender Carson Wentz has been outspoken about his faith and many players spend a lot of time together in prayer, studying the Bible and sharing devotionals.

Foles was one of the study leaders during his first stint in Philadelphia and has become a go-to source for younger guys. Left guard Stefen Wisniewksi also plans to become a pastor after his career ends.

”Guys like Nick and Wis can spit out scripture all day and it’s awesome to take in that knowledge,” said special teams ace Kamu Grugier-Hill.

Foles is passionate about helping students find their way and plans to use his experiences to inspire and encourage them.

”When I speak to (students), that’s such a time of young men and young women’s lives that there’s a lot of things that are thrown at them. So much temptation in this world, so much going on with social media and the internet that you want to talk to them and address it and share all the weaknesses I have because I’ve fallen many times,” Foles said. ”It’s something I want to do. I can’t play football forever. I’ve been blessed with an amazing platform and it’s just a door God has opened, but I still have a lot of school left and a long journey.”

Foles, who was offensive MVP of the Pro Bowl following the 2013 season, contemplated retirement after he asked the Rams to release him last year. He ended up going to Kansas City and reuniting with Andy Reid, who drafted him in the third round in Philadelphia in 2012.

He says prayer helped him decide to stay in the NFL Marquel Lee Jersey , and he returned to the Eagles to be Wentz’s backup. When Wentz tore his left ACL in Week 14, Foles stepped in and led Philadelphia. He was spectacular against Minnesota in the NFC championship, tossing four touchdown passes in a 38-7 win.

Foles – not Tom Brady – has the highest passer rating in postseason history for quarterbacks who’ve thrown at least 75 passes. Foles has completed 72 of 96 passes for 793 yards, with five touchdowns and no interceptions in three games for a 116.4 passer rating.

”It took a lot more faith to come back and play than it would’ve to go in the other direction,” Foles said. ”Either way would’ve been fine. Either way, I would’ve trusted in God. I would’ve done something else and glorified God in that instance.

”The reason I decided to come back is I’ve loved the game of football since I was a kid, I loved playing sports, I loved being part of a team, and I knew as a person that the more growth I’ve had and the more opportunity I would have to glorify God and trust in him would be to go back and play football.”



AP NFL website:

The Eastern Conference’s team of the present and past will meet the team of the future on Friday night with major playoff implications on the line when the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to the Wells Fargo Center to play the Philadelphia 76ers.

Cleveland scored a huge last-minute 119-115 win over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night to move a half-game up on the 76ers, claiming sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference.

The two teams learned of the seed’s increased importance earlier on Thursday, when it was revealed that Boston Celtics star point guard Kyrie Irving would miss the rest of the season after left knee surgery. With the Celtics currently in the No. 2 spot in the conference but missing two of the league’s best players in Irving and the still-injured Gordon Hayward — not to mention Marcus Smart (hand) Nick Vannett Jersey , who remains out — a potential second-round matchup sounds much more appealing against Boston than top-seeded Toronto.

For the Cavaliers and 76ers, two of the hottest teams in the league, they know that every game at this point is of utmost importance.

Particularly the 76ers, who are hungry chasing their first playoff berth since 2012 and doing so in the wake of the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl and Villanova winning the NCAA tournament.

“The spirit of the city, we saw it with the Eagles, we’re feeling it with Villanova,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “It’s something that we want. I’ve said from day one, it’s the only reason that I’m here is I want to try to bring a championship to the city of Philadelphia. This at some point is all of our missions.”

The game should not only be an exciting matchup because of the seeding possibilities, but also because of the similarities in style.

Philadelphia, which has won 12 straight despite losing Joel Embiid for the immediate future with a left orbital bone fracture, has scored 115 or more points in eight of its last nine games and ranks ninth in the NBA at 109.1 points per game. Cleveland Mike Evans Jersey , which has won four straight and nine of 10, has topped 112 points in seven of its last 10, and ranks fifth in the league in scoring (110.5).

Both have remarkably versatile stars: LeBron James is averaging 27.4 points, 9.1 assists and 8.7 rebounds per game; Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons is averaging 16 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, with five triple-doubles in the last month.

“I think when it comes down to the postseason, we can be pretty good,” James told reporters recently. “I mean, I think so. But we don’t know. Listen, we lost our starting point guard (George Hill) last game, so we’re trying to get everybody acclimated. Our head coach is still out Alvin Kamara Jersey , and it’s going to take him a little time to get back as well, so I don’t know what we’re capable of doing. We haven’t played a playoff game together. We got four guys from our championship team: myself, JR (Smith), Tristan (Thompson) and Kev (Love). We got some playoff experience, but you don’t know. It’s a new season, and we’ll see what happens.”

The 76ers, coming off a 115-108 win at Detroi Wednesday, are looking to tie the season series at two wins apiece.

After the matchup, Philadelphia stays home on Sunday before heading on the road on Tuesday at Atlanta.

Cleveland closes out its season with a home-and-home against the New York Knicks, at New York on Monday and in Cleveland on Wednesday.

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