Brian Rice

Brian Rice
“God has given me a passion for young adults,” says Brian Rice, a community ministry major in Geneva College’s Adult Degree Completion Program (ADCP). “I believe that one of the reasons that I’m on this earth is to impact the lives of young adults by sharing my life’s experiences with them and helping them to discover and reach their full potential.”

In addition to pursuing a community ministry degree, Brian also spends time mentoring and coaching youth to help prepare for this calling. But although Brian is usually the one providing instruction, he’s recently been placed on the receiving end through his unique situation as the oldest member of the Golden Tornado men’s basketball team.

Brian had a successful high school basketball career with the New Castle Red Hurricanes, but he never had the opportunity to play in college because he entered the Navy immediately following graduation. “I sacrificed that chance in order to serve my country,” Brian explains, “but it’s always been a dream of mine—and what better time than now? After all, I’m only 43.”

Fortunately, there’s no age limit for playing NCAA Division III basketball, allowing Brian to play alongside teammates who are the same age as his oldest daughter Brittany, a senior at Penn State Behrend. “The experience has been remarkable,” exclaims Brian, “My coaches challenge me, my teammates push me to work harder and get better each practice, and the trainers take care of me. At this age, it takes wisdom to take care of my body and sustain the highest level of performance.”

Head coach Jeff Santarsiero says that Brian earned his place as one of two walk-on players through his drive. This is a quality that he certainly developed throughout a 25-year military career in the U.S. Navy, which took him and his family to over 60 countries on six continents

It’s a quality that he will need as he completes his Geneva College bachelor’s degree. In addition to school and basketball, Brian is also dedicated to his family: his wife of 22 years, Marquita, and two daughters, Brittany and Zoe. Fortunately Brian knows that he will be given strength through his relationship with Christ.

He also knows that the people in the ADCP program truly want to see him, and all students, succeed. “I love the community ministry degree program. Each module is enlightening and challenging,” he says. “And the ADCP professors and staff have been very helpful and supportive.”

As for his future plans, Brian is considering a master’s degree after he completes the ADCP. He will also continue to work with his wife in establishing a non-profit, faith-based organization—Make the Book Talk Productions—that introduces the Bible through drama, dance and musical theater.

Brian was featured in the New Castle News