Tolliver's faith-apparel firm gets big boost from Linsanity

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 22, 2012 - 1:02 PM

Like so many others, Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver has been swept away by all this Linsanity.

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The Suns' Jared Dudley (3) tried to get off a pass around the Wolves' Anthony Tolliver.

Photo: Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press file

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Like so many others, Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver has been swept away by all this Linsanity.

Only not in the way you might think.

Tolliver last year invested in a Christian-faith apparel company founded by a former NBA Development League teammate. Their Active Faith company (myactivefaith.com) produces a line of T-shirts, sweatpants and hoodies that they've promoted by having a growing number of pro athletes wear the company's "In Jesus' Name I Play" wristbands.

NFL receiver Demaryius Thomas, major league ballplayers Willie Bloomquist and Micah Ownings the NBA's Stephen Curry, Randy Foye, Greg Monroe, Corey Maggette and Donte Greene as well as Tolliver and Wolves teammates Derrick Williams and Luke Ridnour all have worn the wristbands.

So did an unknown point guard named Jeremy Lin, who began wearing the wristbands in December before the Houston Rockets cut him.

Lin, as you might have heard, is unknown no longer and neither in a lesser way is Active Faith, which launched a new website over the weekend just in time for a USA Today story hit the web and the streets detailing Lin's connection with the company.

"Within the first three hours, we had 40, 50 orders from China and Taiwan," Tolliver said. "It has been pretty crazy. My partner, I can't even talk to him because he has been so busy."

Tolliver calls the timing between the company's new website launch and Lin's spectacular success with the New York Knicks "God timing." He said he and partner Lanny Smith already have ordered more inventory to be produced in China, and they have discussed getting Lin more involved in the company.

"We're giving him some options because it's definitely something he's helping out with a lot," said Tolliver, who along with Smith is a member of Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston.

Pek or no Pek?

The NBA on Tuesday named Utah's Derrick Favors as a replacement for injured San Antonio center Tiago Splitter in Friday's "Rising Stars Challenge," which kicks off All-Star weekend in Orlando.

Wolves center Nikola Pekovic was a candidate to replace Splitter, but he sprained his ankle when he stepped on a foot in the first quarter of Monday's 103-101 overtime loss at Denver. He left the game for good in the second quarter.

The Wolves did not practice Tuesday. Pekovic received treatment and will be re-evaluated at Wednesday morning's shootaround before that night's game against Utah. The team lists him as questionable, but with the All-Star break looming, it would be no surprise if they rest him Wednesday and give the ankle a full week to heal.

Upon further review

Teammates Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio both raised their arms in disbelief and Wolves coach Rick Adelman sat stunned in his chair after Martell Webster stole the ball in the closing seconds of overtime Monday ... and then raced in for a dunk rather than stopping and attempting a three-pointer his team needed to tie the Nuggets.

After the game, Webster said he was well aware of the time and score, admitted he should have shot the three and hinted that his missed three-pointer seconds earlier in overtime might have affected his decision.

"He should have pulled up," Love said. "We had talked about that [in a preceding timeout]. It's one of those things probably where he went mind blank for a second. We knew what we needed to do: Get a steal, pull up for a three. One of those things where he just messed up."

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