God Always Opens Another Door

Nigel Mullan | Jan 13, 2011

James Wohlgeschaffen is in his second season with the Briercrest Clippers. Athletic and talented, the 6’ 1” guard is having a successful college career so far, after almost giving up on basketball after high school.

Wohlgeschaffen was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but later moved to Calgary where he spent the last five years before coming to Briercrest. He had a great high school career at Centennial High, and also with the Calgary Selects Basketball Club. A personal highlight from those years was scoring 40 points in one of his club games against a team boasting an all-star who now plays for Gonzaga University.

<strong>One door closed, another opened</strong>
Things were looking really good for Wohlgeschaffen in his final year of high school, as he had offers to play NCAA Division 1 after graduation, which is something he had worked hard for. Things began to crumble for him though, as the coaches who had promised him spots ended up taking American players instead. Discouraged and unsure of what else to do, he decided to take a year off from basketball, and contemplated quitting the sport all together.

Fortunately, during that year off, Wohlgeshcaffen got connected with Rod Sawatzky, an alumnus of Briercrest, who now works for Athletes In Action.

“Thanks to God for sending Rod,” says the Clipper guard, “because without him, I would have quit basketball and I would have unintentionally forfeited all my hard work!”

Wohlgeshcaffen believes that God led him to Briercrest, and it was Sawatzky who was instrumental in connecting him to the school.

“I was actually invited to come here by Rod and it was God who brought him into my life. I know it without a doubt and I thank Him for sending Rod to be a light to me.”

<strong>Trusting God’s plan</strong>
The sophomore continues to trust that God has him here for a reason, and he wants to make the most of his time.

“While here, I would like to continue to grow as a person and as a child of God,” said Wohlgeschaffen. “I know that this is one of the main reasons why God brought me here but not only this, I would also like to use my knowledge of the Word to teach those who are younger about God. I also know that I have been called into business admin.”

Wohlgeshcaffen says his favourite part of being in the Briercrest basketball program is the great bunch of teammates he has, growing together with them through good times and bad.

“I enjoy being a part of the losses and successes of the guys who I play with. The losses are as big if not bigger than the successes because both feats bring us closer as a team and as brothers.”

So far his favourite moment with the Clippers was winning their match against Grant MacEwan University earlier this season. He hopes to enjoy some more of those victories and a berth into the ACAC playoffs.

But ultimately Wohlgeschaffen believes it is all in God’s hands – trusting that if he honours God and puts Him first, all his hopes and dreams will be fulfilled.

“I still believe that they will come to pass because as the Bible says, you must, ‘Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you,' and that I will continue to strive and do. It is clear that with the help of God and with the help of those around me, I will see my dreams and goals become realities.”