Bill Rieser dunking in his prime

Bill Rieser dunking in his prime

Been seeing Bill Rieser’s name thrown around in the ADVANCE promotions?

Short of knowing that he will be speaking at ADVANCE this Saturday June 11th, are you wondering who Bill actually is?

Outside of our community Bill is known as a legend on the basketball courts. As an athlete in New York City he had a 44 inch vertical leap!

Bill grew up on the streets of a small Italian neighborhood in the midst of East Harlem, in upper Manhattan.

Bill had an extraordinary gift to play basketball that was marked by an ability to dunk a ball any way he chose. He had a pro basketball agent going into college and was heavily sought-after by a number of universities.

It seemed his story was already written – Bill Rieser was destined for the NBA. 
Bill’s dreams of playing pro basketball never materialized. Internal scars from his childhood, along with repeated physical injuries and a poor attitude caused his NBA ambitions to be de-railed.

The fairy tale story was destroyed, as was his identity.   

Bill spent the next 15 years of his life angry and bitter using drugs, alcohol and women to cover up his pain. Facing total devastation and the loss of his family and health, the truth was exposed to his wife.

God intervened and Bill responded. He placed his hope in the God that loved him despite all that he had done. 

Bill and his wife, Carolynn

Bill and his wife, Carolynn

A 180-degree lifestyle-change was in order as Bill surrendered everything to Christ. Bill’s old dreams were focused on basketball nets.

Today, though Bill's dreams aren't centered on basketball, there are still nets involved…but they are very different. Bill has become a “fisher of men” (Matthew 4:19). He loves to tell others how God’s mercy extends to each of us, regardless of the depth, darkness, and power of the struggle.

God uses Bill’s perspective that comes from a place of personal experience to draw others into relationship with Him; to give them a future and a hope. Bill shares his story as a way to remind others that God is faithful. No matter the past – God has a future.  

For our ADVANCE men, Bill will be sharing this story of how God reached down and lifted a broken man out of broken circumstances and re-defined his vertical leap.

Our Saturday morning event is open to all men and young men (12 years old and up) and their friends. Bill will be speaking at 8:30am, but breakfast will be available at 7:30 AM with all donations benefiting ProjectSCV.