Shaq Goodwin makes no secret of his desire to play both football and basketball at the next level.
“I want to play both sports,” Goodwin said. “Football then basketball. I want to play both of them.”
There are obvious concerns to playing both sports at such a high level in college, but the 6-foot-8, 230-lb. forward/tight end isn’t worried. The major one, aside from simply being overworked and tired, is the amount of time he will miss should his football team make a prominent bowl game.
For example, the national championship game in football next season is on January 9, meaning there is a chance Goodwin might not be able to join his teammates on the hardwood until conference play is already underway.
His response? “Then I’ll be a national champion,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin is ranked higher in basketball – No. 13 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100 – than football, but he is set on being a dual-sport athlete. On the basketball court, Goodwin’s athleticism and toughness are noticeable immediately. He is not averse to drawing contact in the paint, and gets to the free-throw line as well as anyone in the country. Goodwin runs the floor well and has great vision and hands.
He usually plays with the Atlanta Celtics, but he ran with YOMCA Memphis on the EYBL circuit. Being a figurative outsider forced Goodwin to adjust his game slightly.
“I played good defense, not really looking to score,” he said. “Jarnell [Stokes] is the man on this team. I have no problem; I didn’t come to this team to be the man. It’s different.”
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Based on his natural abilities, it’s no surprise that he is also a coveted recruit on the gridiron. If a school doesn’t offer him in both sports, he said, there is little chance they would land a commitment from him.
“I would look at them, but they wouldn’t be in my top five,” Goodwin said.
That vaunted quintet currently includes Memphis, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and UCLA.
The Bruins are the most interesting team on that list, given that Korey McCray, Goodwin’s former AAU coach, recently became an assistant coach in Westwood. Jordan Adams, Goodwin’s Atlanta Celtics teammate, also committed there in late June. He was supposed to visit UCLA in late June, but it never happened.
Goodwin said UCLA doesn’t stand out any more than the rest of the schools do, though.
“It’s good that I know two people going there, but that’s it,” he said.
Goodwin’s recruitment will be interesting to follow. There is not only a tug of war between different schools – different sports will be pulling him in opposite directions, too.
Photo: Five-Star Basketball