Sports

New recruit cherishes chance to play

Vancouver Island University Mariners player Seth Goodman demonstrates dribbling technique to 11-year-old Suvan Mahara during basketball camp at the VIU gym last week. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Vancouver Island University Mariners player Seth Goodman demonstrates dribbling technique to 11-year-old Suvan Mahara during basketball camp at the VIU gym last week.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Sometimes the seasons just go by too quickly. Seth Goodman knows that well, and he will make the most of his time at Vancouver Island University.

The 24-year-old American has come to Canada this year primarily because it’s a place to play. He ran out of semesters of college eligibility in the States, but he didn’t want to end his college career on those terms.

“It meant the world to me to have another chance,” he said. “I thought I was done.”

Goodman has taken a winding path to Nanaimo and the Pacific Western Athletic Association.

He lived in New Orleans until natural disaster struck and Hurricane Katrina wrecked his family’s home.

“It was destroyed. We lost it all in Katrina,” he said. “It was a hard year of my life.”

Displaced to Houston, Texas, he missed his junior year of high school ball, then got cut from the team in his senior year. He kept his skills sharp with club basketball.

He redshirted his first year of college, he said, which is one of the reasons why the semester rule caught up with him.

After that, he found his greatest success at Western Tech  in Wisconsin.

“That’s when I blew up,” he said.

It led to a stop at Southern Wesleyan University, but not playing time, and too soon, Goodman had run out of chances in the States.

It was his old junior college coach who suggested Canada, where the semester rules are different. Goodman took it from there, researching his options and liking the looks of VIU.

“I checked it out and it looked like a good fit for me,” he said.

Matt Kuzminski, coach of the Mariners, said Goodman’s past coaches recommended him, and college transcripts looked positive. Kuzminski checked out some highlight videos and talked to Goodman and made up his mind.

“Because of our budget, you’ve got to kind of take a chance. I [couldn’t] afford to fly him up,” the coach said.

Last week, Goodman arrived in B.C. and worked out one-on-one with his new coach every day. Kuzminski thinks the 6-foot-6 forward is going to be a good fit on the Mariners.

“He’s very athletic, he’s long, he’s going to be a physical presence in this league, especially,” the coach said. “But I’ve been most impressed with his coachability.”

Goodman said he considers himself a versatile player. He likes to drive the lane, but is comfortable playing an outside game as well. He hopes to contribute with scoring, rebounding and defence.

“[Kuzminski] told me that I could have a big role on this team, but it’s team first, so I just have to basically check my ego – I don’t have a big ego – but check my ego at the door,” Goodman said. “Whatever they need me to do, I’ll try to do, as simple as that.”

Goodman has hardly left the VIU gym since he arrived there, as he also volunteered to help with the basketball camps last week.

He loves it, he said; his father coached him all the way up and he appreciates the opportunity to give back.

“They’re the upcoming stars now,” he said. “One day they’ll be in my shoes. Hopefully in better shoes than me.”

COURT SHORTS … The PacWest basketball season starts in early November. For schedule information, visit www.gomariners.ca.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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