‘The backbone of our program’: Head student manager Deuce Woodson plays integral role for Lion basketball


Troy Allen

Head Basketball Manager Deuce Woodson at SLU hoop’s practice at the University Center on Thursday. (Nov. 3, 2022)

Ricky “Deuce” Woodson was hired as a men’s basketball manager in the summer of 2019, but Woodson had a long background in basketball before then. 

Woodson was born and raised in Folsom by his parents, Ricky and Deidre Woodson. He is one of six siblings and also has a godbrother, so working as a team to tackle difficult life situations is nothing new to him. 

Growing up, his favorite sport was basketball, and his favorite player was and still is NBA superstar LeBron James. 

“I’ve been a basketball guy since March 23, 2001. Since I was a baby, I was a basketball fan,” Woodson said. 

It’s easy to see why someone like Woodson would have such a high opinion of King James. He is a four-time NBA Champion and has won the NBA Most Valuable Player award five times in his career. Amongst his other accomplishments, it is not hard to think highly of the legendary hooper. 

Once he entered ninth grade, Woodson became a basketball player for Covington High. During his tenure, he played shooting guard and small forward positions. 

He was an integral part of the squad all four years he was there, helping them make back-to-back state playoff appearances.

After high school, he decided to attend Southeastern as a sports communication major. Here at SLU, he began working with the men’s basketball team and eventually was promoted to head men’s manager. 

“The school recruited my cousin, and I asked him for the coach’s phone number. He asked me if I was trying to walk on, and I told him no; I wanted to be a manager,” Woodson said. 

Once Woodson became head manager of the basketball team in his sophomore year, he learned the role requires a lot of responsibility, but he said he has felt up to the task throughout his tenure in the position.

“I do everything — from laundry, helping guys work out, assisting the coaches at practice, ordering team gear — everything,” Woodson said. 

He also takes care of the team’s equipment, ensuring everything is working, so the players can use them properly. During practices, he helps the players run plays, and he does this in-game as well. 

Additionally, Woodson makes sure that all the gear is packed up and ready to go for road games.

“I don’t know how I balance everything. I guess it’s just good time management, being organized, and being ahead of schedule,” Woodson said. 

Whenever he can, Woodson also helps out during the women’s practices by doing many of the same things he does for the men’s team.

“Student managers are the backbone of the program, there are a lot of things that go unnoticed, but we couldn’t function without our student managers. Deuce is leading a group of seven and those guys, like I said, are the backbone of our program,” head coach David Keifer said. 

Right now, Woodson is getting ready to prepare the Lions for their up and coming basketball season, which tips off Nov. 7. 

His model of consistency over the last few years makes him well-known and well-respected around campus. 

Woodson does have plans to become a professional broadcaster after Southeastern, but he has also stated he’d love to become a manager for a professional team someday. Whatever challenges or opportunities come his way, he is ready to face them.