Nansemond River senior William Goodman Jr. signs to attend and play basketball at Virginia Wesleyan College as his mother, Tracey Goodman, observes during a ceremony on Wednesday at Nansemond River High School. Goodman was joined by his family, friends and influential coaches to mark the occasion.
Nansemond River senior William Goodman Jr. signs to attend and play basketball at Virginia Wesleyan College as his mother, Tracey Goodman, observes during a ceremony on Wednesday at Nansemond River High School. Goodman was joined by his family, friends and influential coaches to mark the occasion.

Goodman signs with Virginia Wesleyan

Published 10:13pm Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nansemond River senior guard William Goodman Jr. made a commitment to play basketball for Virginia Wesleyan College during a signing ceremony on Wednesday at Nansemond River High School.

For Goodman, it was the fulfillment of a desire held “ever since I put a basketball on the basketball floor. That has been my dream. I already knew what I wanted out of life, so once I started playing basketball and I learned to love it, that’s all I wanted to do is go to the next level.”

While he had other schools to choose from, Goodman explained that the decision eventually became clear.

“It came to about three or four schools, but just talking to all the coaches and everything, I just picked the one that took me in as one of their family members, and I felt real welcome,” he said.

Goodman’s parents, William Sr. and Tracey, were on hand and helped organize the event.

“(I’m) happy he’s making a good decision, going to continue his education and doing well, and sad just to hate to see him leave home,” Tracey Goodman said. “Yeah, I’m going to miss him.”

“I’m very proud of him, because he earned what he’s been shooting for all his life,” William Goodman Sr. said. “He’s been playing basketball since he was about 6. What he did in the end was, his academics match his basketball talent, and I’m very proud of him for that.”

Goodman will be an honor graduate and plans to major in criminal justice. He cited the importance of pursuing academic excellence and standing out in the classroom as opposed to settling for a passing grade.

“My mom made it a big thing as far as getting your books first and don’t just be satisfied by you just passing this class, because when it comes down to the end, nobody cares if you’re just passing,” he said.

Nansemond River head coach Ed Young has both coached Goodman and coached against him when he was at Lakeland High School. In that time, Young said, “I’ve seen his growth, so I’m really excited that he’s had this opportunity. I knew academics was not an issue.”

Young said it had remained to be seen “whether or not he could just parlay it into a basketball opportunity also, and his work has paid off in that.”

Marvin Riddick, a basketball coach at Hampton Christian Schools, attended the ceremony because of a key role he played in helping Goodman succeed on the court during his early high school career.

“I did a lot of one-on-one development of his game at the Y, in the gym,” he said.

He did not describe it so much as coaching, but more like enhancing Goodman’s game, so that he could “take it to a level where he could hold himself on varsity, but also take it to a level where he can go to the next stage, which is college.”

Before signing, Goodman made a point to publicly thank Riddick and those who helped him along the way.

Because Virginia Wesleyan is a strong Division III program, Young noted that Goodman will have to work his way up.

“He’s got some good people in front of him, but if he sticks to it like he did his high school career, it’ll pay off in the long run,” he said.

 

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