Jordan Goodman has only played one year of high school basketball, and has suffered more than his share of tragedy, but the rising junior is hoping a change of scenery will improve his chances of playing basketball in college.
The 6-foot-8 Goodman originally attended Henry Wise (Upper Marlboro, Md.) as a freshman, but never played basketball. The death of Goodman's mother and several relocations have not given the talented athlete stability, but his father, Deon Goodman, hopes that will change as Jordan enters Progressive Christian Academy (Camp Springs, Md.) for his junior year.
"There is no question that his mother's passing had a huge impact on Jordan," Deon Goodman said. "We relocated, and Jordan has changed schools -- [his mother's death] probably not only affected Jordan's academics, it probably affected his basketball, too."
In his first year of high school basketball, Goodman averaged 18.9 points, 13.2 rebounds, four assists and three blocks per game for Seneca Valley (Germantown, Md.) last season. His performance earned him All-Montgomery County honors and an All-Met Honorable Mention selection from The Washington Post.
"Jordan has really matured in the last year," Deon Goodman said. "He is still a very young man; he just turned 16, but he has gone through some things. It was just time for Jordan to get to a situation where he could grow more as a player, get better competition. People don't always understand how serious Jordan takes his basketball."
To help improve his academics and athletics, Goodman transferred to Progressive Christian Academy (PCA) where he will be coached by Jason Forbes.
"We are obviously very excited to have Jordan coming to our school," Forbes said. "Jordan is an enormously talented kid who can go all the way and be a big-time player, if he works hard. We think that by coming to PCA, we can help Jordan get to that level and realize his potential."
PCA features both high school and post-graduate basketball programs, and Goodman is expected to play on the high school team.
"Our high school team wasn't very good last year, I think we were about 2-17. But that will change with Jordan coming in," Forbes said. "We also expect a few other talented kids to join our high school team next year. Our post-grad prep team was really good; we were 18-11 against a real tough schedule. Our prep team will be outstanding this year -- we've got some great kids coming into PCA to prep next season."
Forbes expects to utilize Goodman at numerous positions at PCA this coming year; he will see time at shooting guard, forward and center.
"He has tremendous upside. His potential is unlimited," Forbes said. "He can go all the way, be a great player in college, maybe a pro if he works hard. You are talking about a 6-9 kid with athletic ability. Now, yes, he must get stronger, get more consistent with his shot and his defense, but the talent is there."
"We really liked what PCA had to offer my son. It is a family-oriented program. They emphasized the Christian side of life, the family side of things," Goodman said. "They are going to care about Jordan as a person and a student and not just as a player. Jordan does need to get better competition to keep getting better as a player, and PCA will get him that."
Although Goodman is a junior who has played only one year of high school basketball, his athletic ability, size and potential are already attracting the attention of Division I colleges from the ACC to the Big East.
James Quinn covers high school basketball for MDVarsity.com