As a former professional basketball player who has also spent much of her life telling the world about Jesus, it comes natural for Julianne Viani to continue to share the gospel with coaches and athletes as she serves on NYC’s Leadership Board and embraces FCA’s vision: “There is a hunger for God among young people today and those are the years that shape a person’s life. I got saved when I was 12, and was one of those vocal kids during high school and college regarding my faith. Everyone knew I was a Christian, and I was usually the only Christian on the team and it felt very lonely at times. To have a place like FCA to be able to work out your faith with other believers — especially Christian athletes — is pivotal, as it not only opens the door for fellowship, but it’s an opportunity to impact non-believers for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and bring them in.”
Viani graduated from Marist College with a Masters in Public Admin where she played Div I basketball and continued her career as a professional in Europe. She received many accolades during her playing years, including 4x MAAC Champion (4x NCAA appearances- the 1st ever female athlete to do so), leading her team to the first ever Sweet 16 in program history in 2007, finishing in the top 10 in 9 statistical categories, MAAC MVP as a senior, 2x All-MAAC selection & 4x MAAC All-Academic selection. She scored 1,447 career points (4th in program history) and graduated as the program’s leader in games played and 3PT percentage (now 5th in games played, 2nd in 3PT%). In 2009, Viani was named Marist College’s Female Athlete of the Year and in 2014 she was inducted into the MAAC Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Viani has shared the gospel on mission trips in the Philippines and Nepal and during her off-season as an advisor for Pass the Rock Ministries, an organization that goes into youth prisons to play basketball while sharing the gospel to equip the kids after incarceration. She also serves as ambassador for Aces in Action, a non-profit that raises cancer awareness through its brand, as well as at its charity celebrity basketball games.
Currently working as a basketball analyst in sports broadcasting for ESPN, CBS Sports Network, NextVR, Pac12 Network, & MSG Network, Viani covers men’s and women’s college hoops, the NBA, and WNBA. She resides just outside of NYC. Her father Alan Viani was her coach much of her life and resides in NY coaching her former high school team Our Lady of Lourdes with her mother Shelly who had a huge impact on her life, especially spiritually and emotionally.
Wholeheartedly embracing her role on NYC’s Leadership Board, Viani is excited to be a part of helping to grow NYC’s FCA chapter: “At the end of the day, it’s all about souls going to heaven. If I can help win just one through FCA and/or encourage other Christian athletes on their journey, it’s worth it all.”