Gian Paul Gonzalez Speaks to Crusader Athletes
9/5/2018 4:48 PM

On Wednesday, September 05, 2018, members of the Crusader Fall Athletics met in the ArthurL. Johnson High School Auditorium. The student athletes had the pleasure ofmeeting and interacting with guest speaker Gian Paul Gonzalez, who talked tothe fall athletes on the topic of being “All In”.


During the New York Giants’ 2011Super Bowl run, much of their inspiration is attributed to Gian Paul Gonzalez(pronounced John Paul). Prior to the Giant’s Christmas Eve game with the NYJets, Gonzalez delivered the now famous “ALL IN” rally cry message during theGiants’ chapel service and is now widely recognized as having inspired the NewYork Giants to their Super Bowl victory and was featured on ESPN on Super BowlSunday, and has had notable appearances on Fox News and CNN. He has traveled acrossthe nation as a motivational speaker for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, tothe Army Cadets at West Point, Sam’s Club,, aswell as to many other corporate, athletic, government agencies, and educationalinstitutions.


Gonzalez, a high school teacher in Union City, N.J., was asked to lead achapel service for members of the New York Giants team the night before theteam’s Christmas Eve 2011 game against the New York Jets. There was little hopethen that the team would make it to the playoffs.


To illustrate the concept ofcommitment Gonzalez handed each football player a poker chip and instructingthem to write their number on one side of the chip and write what they wantedto be committed to on the other side. He then shared with the team the meaningbehind the poker phrase “All In”. He inspired them to be committed and put alltheir “chips” on the table. “We are faced with decisions every day at whichtime we can decide to be fully committed, or all in,” says Gonzalez, a formerAll-American forward, who passed up a professional basketball contract tocontinue his work with at-risk youth. “I said to the players, ‘I want you tofully commit to being all in on something.’” Gonzalez went on to urge playersto fully commit to anything they take on, whether as a father, husband, son oreven, a football player.


Next day after Gian Paul’s chapelmessage the Giants beat the Jets 29-14. In a post game interview, Giant’sDefensive End, Justin Tuck credited the chapel speaker’s (Gian Paul) message ofbeing “All In” as the reason the Giants win that day. The team went on to winevery game, up to and including Super Bowl XLVI, where they beat the NewEngland Patriots 21-17.


Gian Paul Gonzalez is himself aninspiration. He was a former NCAA First Team All-American forward from Montclair State Universityscoring nearly 1,400 points in his 3-year career. Played with the LA Clippersin their NBA Summer League in 2008 and was offered a few professionalbasketball contracts, yet he turned them down in order to continue his workwith at-risk youth.


He is a gifted motivational speakerand continues to strive for excellence in inner-city public schools andjuvenile jails, for which he has received the 2012 New Jersey Hero Award fromNew Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christi.


Gus Kalikas, Athletic Director at Arthur L. Johnson High School, had this to say about the event. “Arthur L. Johnson High School was thrilled to have Gian Paul Gonzalezcome and speak to us on the topic of ““All In”. Gian Paul reachedall of our student athletes and left them with great strategies that will notonly help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of life. He wasa true professional and inspires while delivering a wonderful message.”

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