It’s All in the Genes for Freshman Guard Demetri Goodson
Freshman guard Demetri Goodson brings a long family history of athleticism to Gonzaga. His mom ran track for the University of Pittsburgh and his dad played basketball for Pittsburgh. Demetri started playing organized basketball in the third grade. With those genes, it’s no surprise that his siblings are athletes as well.
His older brother Michael Goodson is well-known as a Texas A&M tailback. Michael’s Coach Mike Sherman announced earlier this month that he did not expect Michael to return for his senior season as Goodson is expected to declare for the NFL draft. He rushed for 1,964 yards and 13 TDs in his first three seasons at College Station, Texas, including a career-high 847 yards as a freshman. Demetri’s sister, a junior in high school, runs track; his younger brother, an eighth-grader, is following in Demetri’s footsteps as a basketball standout.
Before deciding on Gonzaga, Demetri considered the University of Oklahoma, the University of Texas, Texas A&M, and the University of Kentucky. Any of those schools would have been lucky to have such a talented young man. Lucky for us, he chose Gonzaga. Demetri saw that the Bulldogs had a strong team and he wanted to help make it stronger. He also noted Gonzaga’s history of point-guards, referring to John Stockton and Jeremy Pargo as examples. Perhaps, he’ll be Gonzaga’s next great point-guard.
If he had to do it over again, would he still pick Gonzaga?
“Yes,” he said without hesitation, Gonzaga is truly the right school for him.
Demetri has already contributed to the Zags’ success and national rankings so far this season. The Bulldogs’ winning sweep at the Old Spice Classic has been Demetri’s favorite experience at Gonzaga so far, but there will surely be many more highlights before he leaves the University.
The Demetri Goodson File
Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 164 pounds
High School: Klein Collins
Birthday: June 11 (1989)
Residence Hall: DeSmet
Major: Sports Management
Favorite Class: Sociology taught by Senior Lecturer Andrea Fallenstein
Favorite Food: Seafood and Steak, “Surf & Turf”
Favorite Movie: All the Shrek flicks
Favorite Music: Rap, Lil' Wayne and Jay-Z
Favorite Team: New Orleans Hornets
Favorite Childhood Memory: When I hit a grand slam and won the baseball game for my team in third grade
“The coaches were happy and we got to see our hard work pay off,” said Demetri, who has received considerable playing time for a freshman.
How is it that a freshman can step in and contribute so soon to one of the premier Division I men’s basketball programs in the country? It was overwhelming at first, Demetri says, the guys are all so good and had played together for a long time. Once Demetri started playing, he soon recognized his skills were comparable and he regained his confidence. His teammates welcomed Demetri to the team.
“We’re all cool, we like each other and crack jokes about each other,” he said. “It certainly lightens up the locker room.”
Another adjustment for Demetri was handling the media coverage and large-scale production that is Division I college basketball. When asked if he ever got nervous before playing, Demetri said he did at first because he didn’t know what to expect. Now, he is much more comfortable doing what he does best.
While a commitment to his sport plays a huge role in Demetri’s life – and in the lives of all student-athletes – it certainly isn’t everything. Demetri pulls himself out of bed in the morning just like any other Gonzaga student and heads to the COG for breakfast. Then, he’s off to class, typically three in a row in the mornings, before returning to the COG to fuel up at lunch. Practices typically run three hours, and let out in time for dinner. Then it’s homework, studying, and preparing to do it all over again the next day.
Weekends are slightly more relaxed – if there isn’t a game, that is. The players typically have a shorter practice on Saturdays (unless they have a game) and usually have Sundays off, allowing more time to catch up on academics, sleep and to even squeeze some socializing in here and there.
Life would be chaos without effective time management to keep him on track, Demetri says.
“You have to know when to have fun and when to do your homework,” he said. In Spokane, he likes going to the NorthTown Mall for a break and also enjoys playing pick-up football games with his friends when he’s at home in the Houston area. If he could change anything about his life, Demetri said he would push back the Zags’ sometimes 7:30 a.m. practice sessions to a more civilized hour, sounding very much like the seasoned college student who disdains the early alarm.
Looking forward, Demetri hopes to keep winning, playing hard, and seeing just how good the 2008-2009 Zags can be.
Like all Gonzaga students, he is looking forward to going home for Christmas. Further down the line, he is interested in playing professionally if the time is right and it can help his family.
And after basketball? Demetri, inspired by his father’s profession, hopes to become a sports agent.
Finally, Demetri loves getting better as a player and as a student and is willing and eager to learn.
“We have great coaches and they all know what they’re talking about,” Demetri said, adding he is grateful for strong support from his family, the Zags’ coaching staff, his professors and the University at large.
The future is bright indeed for this talented student-athlete from the Lone Star State.