The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Jeff Woodward: Excelling on the Court and in the Classroom

Printed with permission of Jeff Woodward

Whether you’re a superfan or only superficially interested in the Colgate University men’s basketball team, one face is instantly recognizable. Standing at 6 feet 11 inches tall and dominating the court, senior Jeff Woodward is a bonafide Colgate icon. Since his first year, where he was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team and recognized by Colgate’s Rookie of the Year award, Woodward has been making waves on — and off — the court.

From Audubon, Penn., Woodward is concentrating in psychology and religion, balancing dual studies with his busy basketball schedule. He exemplifies a commitment to athletic and academic excellence, fusing his passion for sports with his psychology thesis.

“I wrote my psychology thesis on how teachers perceive students when those students are given different labels,” Woodward explained. “I specifically looked at how the label of being a student-athlete affected teacher perception.”

He will be writing a second thesis for his religion studies in the fall, when he returns for his fifth year at Colgate and turns his religion minor into a major. Even with his packed academic and athletic schedule, Woodward adds other extracurricular pursuits on top of that. 

“In my time at Colgate, I have been involved in Wellness Advocates, Presidential Ambassadors and have led the NCAA Men’s Division I Student-Athlete Engagement Group,” Woodward said.

Woodward is more than just a student-athlete and academic weapon. He is also charismatic and friendly, lighting up every space he enters and befriending anyone he talks to. His peers describe him as warm and welcoming, the kind of guy who walks in and owns the room. His personality is as big as he is tall, and more than one person compared him to the “big friendly giant.”

Woodward makes an impression on everyone he meets, from his best friends to the students and employees working in positions that support the mens basketball team, such as junior Ekaterina Balsa.

“[Woodward] is one of the kindest and most upbeat customers at Raider Refuel and makes the time working there an absolute joy,” Balsan said.

However, his excellence on the basketball court cannot be ignored or understated. Woodward has helped his team win four straight Patriot League titles and represented Colgate at the biggest college basketball tournament in the country. He has continued to improve during his time here; his senior season included games with career-bests in points netted, number of blocks and made field goals.

Woodward shared that he enjoys the wins, but also treasures experiencing them with his fellow players and friends.

“My favorite experience here at Colgate has been being able to celebrate winning four consecutive Patriot League Championships with my teammates,” Woodward said. “And my favorite memories are being able to go to four straight March Madnesses with my teammates and the celebrations we are able to have because of our success.”

Woodward is a true teammate, committed to supporting and uplifting the other men on the basketball team. He spoke about his peers and experience on the team with warmly positive affirmations.

“Being on the team has been an absolutely amazing experience,” Woodward said. “The community we have up here is incredibly supportive and only wants the best for us and our team reflects that. We all care about each other’s success just as much as our own and the togetherness of the teams I have been on has been amazing. Everyone is dedicated and driven to helping us achieve our team goals.”

When reflecting on his time at Colgate, Woodward added how students are driven and encourage each other to do their best.

“The biggest thing that I’ve learned here at Colgate is that everyone at Colgate wants everyone else to succeed,” Woodward said.

Following his graduation in May, Woodward will be returning to Colgate for one more year of memories on the court and in the classroom, as he will continue his religion studies while playing as a final on the mens basketball team.

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About the Contributor
LJ Coady
LJ Coady, Baker's Dozen Editor (Fall)
LJ Coady is a junior from Houston, TX concentrating in political science with minors in history and religion. She has previously served as a writer for the Baker's Dozen, Arts & Features, News, and Commentary sections.

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