Good shot for Goodman

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 29, 2005

Suffolk News-Herald

In a normal basketball game, free throws won’t get a team far fast – they’re worth just one point apiece. But for William Goodman Jr., all those freebies have been adding up to local fame.

Two Saturdays ago, the Nansemond Parkway Elementary student decided to take part in tryouts for the Suffolk Elks Lodge #685 free throw shooting contest.

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When I heard about it, I knew I’d be in it,&uot; said the four-year veteran of Parks and Recreation League basketball. &uot;I’ve always been pretty good at shooting.&uot;

That was proven true – by sinking eight out of 10 from the line, he was the top 8-9 age group shooter from his school.

&uot;I was the last to go,&uot; he said. &uot;I watched everybody else start missing. It felt great when I won, because everybody was hollering.&uot;

The next weekend, he got a chance to hear more cheers – the Hoop Shoot competition was held at Kilby Shores Elementary. Goodman squared off against little cagers from across the city. His group, the youngest, was the first to compete.

&uot;My daddy (William Goodman, a bailiff deputy of the Sheriff’s Department) told me to set my feet and concentrate on my shot,&uot; he said. &uot;I focus and use the correct form. He says to shoot every shot like it’s my first.&uot;

The first round was 10 shots long.

&uot;I felt kind of nervous,&uot; he said. &uot;I knew that if I messed up, I wouldn’t be the winner. The other people were really good at shooting.&uot;

He made it through, then went to the 25-shot second round. Goodman can’t quite remember how many times he swished.

&uot;They announced the runner-up, and I was feeling pretty shaky,&uot; he said. &uot;I didn’t know if I’d get it.&uot;

He didn’t – but there was one more spot to announce. And when the result came, it was him.

&uot;I raised my trophy up, and everyone was hollering,&uot; he said. &uot;I started walking around and showing everyone my trophy.&uot;

He’ll get to show off more than that on Feb. 6 – he’ll be representing Suffolk against youths from Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Norfolk in the District Hoop Shoot competition at Lake Taylor Middle in Norfolk.

&uot;It’ll probably be hard, because the other people that made it are pretty good,&uot; he said. &uot;My plan is to do what I do – but better!&uot;