Jordan Goodwin was exactly where he thought he belonged for the first three months of the 2017-18 college basketball season.
Fresh off a high school career at Althoff, where he was a three-time first team all-state selection and leader on the team which won the Class 3A state title in 2016, Goodwin made an immediate impact for St. Louis University Billikens and Coach Travis Ford.
Goodwin was averaging 11.5 points, a team-leading 7.5 rebounds and four assists per game when his season was brought to a halt.
Three women on the SLU campus accused Goodwin and three Billiken teammates of sexual assault last September. Though Goodwin was never implicated in a criminal charge, he was the only one of the four suspended for the season for violation of university policy.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
His penalty now served, Goodwin says he’s approaching the new season with a new perspective.
“It made me so much more appreciative to be able to play the game I love,” he said.
“I mean, to be part of something and to be able to play basketball everyday with a group of guys who are your family and then having that taken away, not to be able to do that? It was tough. It was so very tough.”
The Billikens were 14-12 with Goodwin in the lineup, then dropped four of their final seven games to finish 17-16 for the season and 9-9 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Goodwin returned to the SLU campus for the summer semester and, after a full offseason of workouts, has picked up where he left off on the basketball court. The 6-4 215-pound product of Althoff’s Class of 2016 tallied 11 points in the Billikens’ 75-65 season opening win over Southeast Missouri State. Saturday, he recorded 15 points and added nine rebounds and five assists in a 62-58 win over Troy University.
Picked as the preseason favorite by league coaches to win the Atlantic 10 Conference, title, the Billikens played host to North Alabama on Tuesday.
“What has happened in the last year has made me more humble. I learned that I can play the game one day and it can be gone the next,” Goodwin said. “It’s made me want to work harder everyday and to be appreciative that I get to play basketball for St. Louis University.”
A native of Centreville, Goodwin was one of the best players in the state throughout his career at Althoff. Under veteran Crusaders coach Greg Leib, Goodwin was ranked No. 55 in ESPN’S top 100 recruits and finished his prep career as Althoff’s all-time points leader with 2,324.
In addition to helping Althoff win the state crown in 2016, Goodwin also helped Althoff to a second place finish in 2015.
With a renewed appreciation for the opportunities his talent has afforded him, Goodwin also welcomes the change of focus personally.
“I’m just trying to make the game easier; that’s what me and Coach (Ford) were talking about in his office recently,” he said.
We talked about making the game easier for me, not trying to hit home run plays, just letting the game come to me. With the talent we have on this team its going to be way easier for me to do that.
“I’m just going to get the ball to the shooters, get the ball to the bigs and locking in on defense.”
While classes and basketball take up a large portion of Goodwin’s time, he does manage to keep track of Crusaders sports, including the football team, where he starred as a wide receiver.
“You know I keep track on the boys at Althoff. Coach Leib and I have a bond that goes way beyond the basketball court,” Goodwin said. “And football too. Man, I really miss playing football. I know they (Althoff) had a tough season this year but Coach (Ken) Turner and the other coaches, they’re great. They’ll get them back on top.”