A Ministry Update from Upstate New York

Lacrosse brothers draw Section V legend basketball player father into FCA

Greg Woodard was one of the best basketball players ever to come out of Section V, and he remains on Villanova University’s list of leading scorers. While he’s no longer playing the sport he has had great success in, and still has a passion for, he is now enjoying coaching it. “I grew up playing basketball and as they say, ‘if you can’t do it anymore — you coach it!” Woodard got drawn into coaching for FCA through his three sons who play FCA Lacrosse — Christopher, 2023, Ryan 2024 and Brayden, 2027.

“When Greg found out we were doing a basketball camp this summer, he decided to volunteer his time to help coach the shooting segment at camp. We had 60 some kids attend our basketball camp this year, and 11 of them came to Christ. And as Greg shared his own story of faith, he was a part of what we do at FCA – ‘ministering to and thru coaches.’ It was great to have such an incredibly talented individual find his way into camp and give back like Greg did,” said David Parks, FCA Upstate NY Director.

Woodard has coached his three sons in basketball for the past seven years and he enjoys the life precepts that can be passed on through coaching. “My oldest son is 12 and I have coached him since he was 5; I love basketball and have a passion for it and love teaching it to kids – not just the fundamentals of the sport, but teaching kids about life through sports. With all sports, at the end of the day you talk about the lessons you have learned, and a lot of the concepts that are taught transcend sports and can be applied off the court as well, which relates to how FCA teaches athletes about living life ‘off the playing field.’

“I read somewhere that 50% of kids aren’t playing any sport by the time they are 13, and kids would be served better, as would adults, if they keep that in perspective. I’ve often said to parents, ‘Your son or daughter will be a professional athlete in spite of what you do not because of what you do.’ If they have the passion to excel at that level nothing will keep them out of the gym. So as parents we can encourage them and expose them to as many things as possible, but then we must step back and let them develop the passion for a sport, or move onto other areas,” Woodard said.

A McQuaid Jesuit High School All-American (’88) and Villanova (’92) standout, Woodard was excited by the opportunity to give back through FCA’s basketball camp in Rochester this summer. One of the things that excites Woodard the most about coaching sports is teaching kids to have passion about whatever they are doing. “Today it’s sports, and its something that kids can relate to, but someday they can apply that passion to something else – some other passion they might have in life.”

Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.

More information can be found at FCA.org.