JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Faith Academy junior power forward Joseph Woods took the pass, cut through the defense to get to the paint, drew the foul and hung in the air long enough for the ball to bounce three times on the rim before falling in.
Those were two of his 19 points during a 64-47 win against Khabele on Dec. 17.
After the contest, the forward was thankful, and it wasn’t because of his point total or even the victory.
It was because he still could do the things on the court he wanted to 14 months after suffering a leg injury that forced him to miss all of last season.
“It’s humbling,” he said. “It helped me realize why I was playing and who allowed me to play. I’m happy to be back here.”
In October 2012, Woods and some of his teammates made up a practice squad to help the Lady Flames before the season tipped off.
During a practice, Woods was going for the ball, fell and fractured his leg. He was carried out on a stretcher and rushed to a hospital.
“I was upset because I couldn’t play,” he said. “I just wanted to get back on the court. I don’t like sitting still, being in bed.”
He had surgery as quickly as possible and started rehabilitation after the first of the year. By the end of the 2012-2013 school year, Woods was back on the court.
He started playing the sport because of his father, Darron Woods, grandfather Claude and uncle Ralph. All three were basketball players and showed the younger Woods how to compete. His mother is Travonda Woods.
“I play basketball because of my family,” he said. “I wouldn’t have the passion. I wouldn’t have the drive. I’m going to play to the best of my ability.”
He and his father still play one-on-one, and he readily admits his dad still gets the best of him.
Woods is known as one of the most active Flames (2-1) on the floor. He can dribble to the basket, post up on the low block, shoot jumpers while falling backward, and looks forward to defending the opponent’s best big man.
He said what drives him is knowing that if he’s not active, head coach Randy Denton will send in a teammate to replace him.
“I don’t want to get out of the game,” he said. “I’m no help if I just stay in one spot. I’m just trying to put variety in my game. That way I can play any position.”
“It’s great for our offense because the big guy has to run to keep up,” Denton said. “I told him if you can get the big guy to run, you’re going to score a lot of points.”
The Flames won their season opener for the first time in the history of the program against Lometa 66-60 on Dec. 2.
Denton said Woods is beginning to become the player he wants to be.
“Joseph is going to continue to get better,” he said. “He’s a sophomore in experience. He’s going to get better in the game.”
The Faith roster has nine players with most of them returning next season. Woods believes this squad has a chance of accomplishing other firsts, such as advancing to the Class 2A state tournament of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.
“The arrogance in me says finals,” he said. “We’ll get better over the course of this season. And who knows how far we’ll go next season.
“I’m just happy to be back out there,” he added with a grin. “Especially coming off a win, I’m really enjoying it right now.”