Deep in their locker room Tuesday night before a game against Mount Vernon, the Althoff Crusaders knew where the ball was headed throughout the first quarter.
No matter what play was called by coach Greg Leib, the end result, as the players kept saying, was “get it to Goody.”
That’s Goody as in Jordan Goodwin, the Saint Louis University recruit who broke Althoff’s all-time scoring record Tuesday despite playing with a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Goodwin came out on fire, scoring Althoff’s first 11 points. He broke the scoring record by hitting two free throws, a much improved part of his game, with 4:38 remaining in the first quarter.
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Goodwin finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds in a 74-64 victory, closing out his career with 2,324 points.
Goodwin’s shoulder injury led to a decision to have surgery now, thus bringing a premature end to one of the best high school basketball careers in metro-east history.
“I really wanted to finish my season out, but the best choice for me is to get surgery, so I won’t hurt it any more,” Goodwin said. “It’s probably best to get it done now.”
The decision wasn’t an easy one.
“I’ve been thinking about it for the last three weeks,” he said. “I kind of kept it away from my teammates, so they could keep their heads straight and focus on the games. But when I told them, they all understand. I know they’re going take it hard, but it’s time for them to step up now. It’s time for them to get buckets — and it’s time for me to coach them up.”
Just three days earlier, Goodwin lit up Chaminade for 42 points and 18 rebounds in a 97-94 overtime defeat. Watching him slice and dice his way through the Mount Vernon defense again Tuesday, the casual fan would never know he was hurt.
Goodwin leaves Althoff with the scoring record, but he’s much more proud of the Class 3A state basketball title his team won last season, a second-place finish the year before and a 2015 trip to the state football finals.
“It’s his hustle,” football and basketball teammate C.J. Coldon said. “He’s a true competitor no matter who he’s going up against, and he just wants to win. He’s just a tough guy. We’re going to miss him a lot.”
Goodwin brought his own brand of magic to Althoff. Despite not playing football before, he played his final three seasons as a receiver and was good enough to draw football scholarship offers from Iowa and New Mexico.
“There’s something about the way he pulls people in,” Althoff football assistant Austin Frazier said. “Maybe it’s his personality or something you gravitate toward. When things don’t go well, he makes you believe.”
Goodwin’s decision to sign with the Billikens made him the first prominent recruit landed by new head coach Travis Ford.
Ford and SLU assistant coach Corey Tate, who coached Goodwin previously with the St. Louis Eagles AAU team, were both at Althoff on Tuesday.
“We want him to know how much he means to us, how important he is to us,” Ford said. “We’re here to support him and his family on a big night.”
Ford described why Goodwin is such a special talent.
“Just his competitive nature, how hard he plays,” Ford said. “He makes everyone around him better. His attitude and competitiveness is contagious to all the other players, and then he’s highly skilled, too. Everybody likes Jordan. His personality is contagious, and everybody wants to be around that.”
Goodwin smiled and joked with teammates, but he knew the sadness was coming.
“The main thing I’ll miss is playing with these guys, my brothers,” he said. “This year was probably my best year of high school basketball because they relate to me so well after playing football and coming to play basketball with them.”