By Cynthia De Castro/Asianjournal.com
LOS ANGELES – Florida Gators quarterback Timothy Richard “Tim” Tebow has achieved so much at his young age of 21.
He became the only person ever in NCAA history to score 20 touchdowns rushing and 20 touchdowns passing in the same season. Tim’s spectacular season earned him the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top player and the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s best quarterback in 2007. He was also awarded the 2007 Heisman Trophy, given to the most outstanding college football player of the year.
Recently, Tim Tebow did another first for a football superstar. The Orlando Sentinel in Florida reported that he helped circumcise Filipino boys during a missionary trip in General Santos City in Mindanao.
On the recent weeklong trip to the orphanage his father’s ministry runs in Southeast Asia, Tim assisted in the care of more than 250 Filipinos who underwent medical and dental procedures, including circumcision.
Tim’s original task was to preach to the hundreds of people waiting in line before they had their teeth pulled or cysts removed. But as the day progressed, he looked for more active ways to help the three Filipino doctors. By the end of an exhausting day, he was wearing gloves and a mask, wielding surgical scissors, and helping the doctors in the circumcision of boys, finishing off stitches with a snip.
Tim Tebow was born on August 14, 1987 in the Philippines to Bob and Pam Tebow who were serving as Christian missionaries, They also ran an orphanage in Southern Philippines. While pregnant with Tim, Pam got infected with a pathogenic amoeba and an abortion was recommended by her doctors.
Tim was homeschooled by his mother, who worked to instill the family’s deep Christian beliefs in her children. In 1996, legislation was passed in Florida allowing homeschooled students to compete in local high school sporting events. The Tebows lived at that time in Duval County and Tim played linebacker and tight end for Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville for one season, but his dream was to play quarterback.
Eventually, Tim and his mother moved in to an apartment near Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida so he would be eligible to play there. His performance as a quarterback soon began to turn some heads. He became a Division I-A recruit and ranked among the top quarterback prospects in the nation. The 6’3”, 225 lb quarterback led the Nease Panthers to a state title, earning All-State honors. He was named Florida’s Mr. Football and a Parade All-American. Tebow finished his high school career with 9,810 passing yards, 3,186 rushing yards, 95 passing touchdowns and 62 rushing touchdowns.
After much consideration, he chose to attend the University of Florida. His contribution as a key reserve helped the Gators win college football’s national championship game for the first time since 1996.
Tebow’s good looks and magnetic personality have given birth to “Tebowmania”. Fans launched Web sites and printed T-shirts (Tim Tebow is My Homeboy!). One article said mothers pray their daughters will bring him home for pot roast night; fathers pray their sons will grow up to be like him; and linebackers pray he won’t connect with that stiffarm.
Tebow merely shrugs the fame and makes no big deal out of it. It is said that it takes him five times as long as his teammates to get from the practice field to the locker room because of all the autograph seekers, but he signs nearly every football, T-shirt or hat thrust at him and he poses for every picture.
Considered one of the nation’s top recruits, Tim was the subject of an ESPN Faces in Sports documentary. The segment was titled Tim Tebow: The Chosen One, and focused on Tim’s homeschooling and missionary work in the Philippines, as well as his exploits on the field of play and the college recruiting process.
Tim has worked and preached at his parents’ orphanage since he was 15. A very devout Christian, he regularly speaks at schools and delivered his message of faith at a prison in Florida earlier this year.