What Is Upward Academy?

All registrations must be completed online.  To register for the Upward Stars Academy hosted by FBC-Wentzville, CLICK HERE.

One of the biggest needs in today’s youth basketball culture is for an environment that focuses on skill development and training in fundamentals.  There’s a reason Europe churns out such skilled basketball players – they grow up being drilled and drilled in important facets of the game. In 2013 FBCW was one of a select few churches nationwide to first partner with Upward Sports in developing and implementing Upward Academy, and we are currently the ONLYchurch in the St. Louis region offering an Upward Stars Academy experience.

Upward Stars Academy is an intensive four-week Developmental Program offered through the Upward Stars, the Performance Division of Upward Sports, and is exclusively offered through mission-aligned leaders and church partners.  Running for four weeks in September, the Upward Stars Academy will significantly help young basketball players improve their individual skill set, understand the game at a more complex level, and be better prepared for their next season of league competition.

The Upward Stars Academy is led by experienced coaches to prepare players for the next level, including the school team, a travel/select team or their Upward recreational team.  Through their participation in Upward Stars Academy, athletes will experience the 360 Progression, a uniquely designed sports experience that focuses on developing the total athlete mentally, athletically, spiritually and socially.  This is accomplished by being challenged to improve on and off the court, participating in character lessons and service projects, and a variety of other team events. It’s our goal through Upward Academy to instill our athletes with more complex teaching on not only the sport of basketball, but also on the importance of living a Christ-centered life and what that looks like in their interaction with others.

In 2018, we’re proud to have Doug Smith as the Master Coach for Upward Stars Academy.  Doug is a married father of three children and has been coaching basketball at some level (from high school varsity all the way to kindergarten) since 1993.  A public school educator since 1995, he currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent of the Wright City School District.  Doug enjoys sharing his lifelong love of the game with kids of all age ranges and abilities.  As a high school basketball coach, Doug led his teams to multiple district and conference championships, coached multiple all-state players, and has organized and led multiple camps and clinics.  Doug also coached three different high school AAU teams that made the national AAU tournament.  In 1997, Doug’s AAU team finished as a top 12 in AAU Nationals.  Doug is a member and elder at River Oaks Church in Wentzville and has coached multiple Upward teams in the past and is committed to the success of the Academy.  


  • Registration is online only.
  • 4th-5thgrade is limited to the first 20 registrations.
  • 6th-8thgrade is limited to the first 25 registrations.
Practice Format
  • Academy athletes will receive hands-on, intensive instruction through eight 90-minute practices on Tuesday & Thursday nights
    • 4th-5thgrade from 6:00-7:30pm
    • 6th-8thgrade 7:30-9:00pm
  • Upward Stars Academy starts September 4.
  • All sessions will be held in the gym at Wentzville United Methodist Church, 725 Wall Street, across from FBCW.
Important Additional Information
  • The cost to register is $150 and includes one performance t-shirt and a pair of performance socks.

All registrations must be completed online.  To register for the Upward Stars Fall Academy hosted by FBC-Wentzville, CLICK HERE.

To learn more about Upward Stars and the 360 Progression, visit