Marvin Sapp fully understands how important faith and family are to a man’s existence. In the middle of what continues to be an award-winning singing and songwriting career he and his three children lost his wife and their mother, Malinda Prince Sapp in 2010.

In the bowels of State Farm Arena minutes before tip-off between the host Atlanta Hawks and the Portland Trailblazers on “Faith and Family” Night, which took place Friday, Mar. 3, Sapp reflected on what got him through such a life-altering tragedy.

Gospel singer and songwriter Marvin Sapp performs during an NBA game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, March 3, 2023 at State Farm Arena. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

“The only reason why I made it is because I had a real solidified relationship with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My family is everything to me so when we talk about faith and family we’re dealing with the two most important things,” said Sapp.

Marvin II, 29, MaKalia, 26, and Madisson, 24, have all the blessing of having a spiritual father in their lives to help them navigate the unthinkable. Sapp, who has written and performed numerous gospel hits, such as “The Best In Me,” “My Testimony” and the iconic “Never Would Have made It,” believes his children having grown up in the church and in a God-fearing home prepared them for the strength they would need going forward in their lives.

“It’s about being an example,” Sapp explained. “They grew up in a home where they saw a real example. I’m so grateful that I was able to do that.”

An admitted basketball fan, Sapp shared that he was hoping to give the fans in attendance “some inspiration,” in between and after the game. “Hopefully I can inspire.”

Dressed in a white dress shirt, with matching eyewear, Sapp performed at halftime and immediately after the game. Many of the families in attendance remained in their after the game to listen and watch.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...