Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
After Decommiting from Rutgers, Goodman Hopes to Move Forward
Jordan Goodman, a 6-foot-10, 215-pound power forward with pro potential, has decommitted from Rutgers for the Class of 2012.
Jordan and his father, Deon Goodman, wanted to make it clear that they hope to maintain a positive relationship with Rutgers associate head coach David Cox, who recruited Jordan.
“It’s a friendly, mutual separation because we want to look at some other options right now,” Deon said by phone. “Jordan had a relationship with Dave Cox that goes back to when he lived in Maryland. We have all the respect in the world for David Cox.
“We just want to open up other avenues and find a different scenario for Jordan to be in.”
Jordan, an 18-year-old rising senior at Arlington (Fla.) Country Day and a product of the DC Assault AAU program, said he’s still considering Rutgers, as well as Arizona and Maryland, which recently hired Dalonte Hill as an assistant under new coach Mark Turgeon.
“I wanted to open up my options, see what’s going on for next year,” Jordan said. “Maryland will be one of our options as of right now. They’re not a top right now, but they’re still on the radar.”
As for Rutgers, which recently added transfer Wally Judge for 2012, he said, “Yeah, they’re still on there. I just wanted to open it up and weigh my options.”
Todd Washington, who is mentoring Jordan, said Arizona assistant Joe Pasternack had also reached out.
Jordan, Deon and Washington all emphasized that Jordan is working on transforming himself in a number of areas, and is working on his academics as well as speaking to a sports psychologist.
“I want to prove to everybody that I changed, that I’m a better person than what my appearance may bring or how I act,” Jordan said.
He said he may also cut his dreadlocks to alter his image.
“He realizes more importantly that perception and image are important,” Washington said. “He recognizes that people don’t know him and if he doesn’t talk to people, they’re just going to make assumptions. And typically when people assume things, they assume incorrectly.”
As far as Jordan’s academics, his father said, “We’re working on making sure he qualifies.”
Goodman has endured a traumatic life.
When he was 11, his best friend, Joel Dildersleeve, died in a car crash when the two were returning from the movies. Joel’s older brother was reportedly driving and the car skidded on a wet road, collided with an oncoming vehicle and flipped into the woods.
“They say on impact of the car accident, he broke his neck,” said Goodman, who reportedly ended up in a full lower-body cast for two months.
Three years later, his mother, Lorraine Chaney, died suddenly when he was 14.
“Now I look at them as motivation,” Goodman said of the deaths. “When I was younger, I felt as though the world was against me or God did it on purpose. But now I see he put me through this for a bigger picture and now I just use it as motivation. Everything in general is a big motivation to me now.”
He has been speaking with Dr. Joe Carr, a Washington-based sports psychologist who has worked with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and several NBA teams.
“He was a big part of my maturity, especially when I was younger and a lot of my problems were growing bigger as time went on,” Goodman said. “He taught me how to deal with different kinds of issues, like if schoolwork wasn’t going right, like you ain’t got no money today. He just taught me how to handle them and turn it around.”
Goodman said he remains close with his father and also pointed to his brother, Chico Speight, as a role model.
“He tells me the real street stuff, everything to keep my head on straight,” Goodman said. “Pretty much how to be a man besides what my father teach[es] me, and I just want everybody to know about him also.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.