Local Freshman Phenom Nearly Commits to UMD

Local standout Jordan Goodman and his father like Maryland basketball a lot – so much, in fact, that they nearly gave the Terps staff a verbal commitment prior to his freshman year this fall at Seneca Valley High School. Goodman, a gifted 6-foot-8 guard already earning attention from a handful of major college programs, decided to hold off on that -- for now at least.

Goodman, whose story TurtleSportsReport.com's Jeff Ermann first broke in May, earned himself a national name this summer while traveling with local powerhouse AAU program D.C. Assault. He can handle and shoot exceptionally well for a 6-8 player – and a young one at that – and put up several big performances on the national circuit. He's received serious interest from Memphis, Tennessee, UCLA and Kansas State in addition to Maryland, but the Terps remain at the top of his early list. In fact, the Goodman was planning to commit to Maryland during the next week or so until his father decided it would be best to wait a bit, they said.

"We are truly considering going to Maryland, but my only concern with my son is he needs to show his dedication and determination to go to that level," said Dion Goodman, whose son was academically ineligible last year at Wise High in Upper Marlboro. "I want him to have one more year of not having that pressure, not having to look over his shoulder and also to show that he's able to play athletically as well as scholastically … Time really goes fast after this year."

Terps assistant coach Chuck Driesell has been recruiting Goodman, while head coach Gary Williams has seen him play as well. Goodman may be taking a visit to College Park in the near future to talk more with Williams.

"I like coach Driesell and I like Keith Booth. They're cool and I can relate to them," Jordan Goodman said. "They've been to all of my tournaments since I met them, like at Kansas State and Las Vegas and every tournament I've been in."

Goodman and his father like the local aspect of Maryland and have envisioned the possibility of a ‘Fab Five' type of scenario in which Jordan and several other local standouts commit to play for Maryland around the same time.

"I would like him to be close to home, where I could go and watch him play. I would like him to be here. Everybody knows him. It would be nice," Dion Goodman said. "I like the hometown hero aspect … Maryland is one of the best programs out there. It's a no-brainer."

Added Jordan, "It's close and if I go there, it would be the hometown hero type of thing."

The younger Goodman, though, is no lock; no one is at his age, when signing day is several years away. He also likes Kansas State and Memphis. Kansas State, of course, has strong ties to D.C. Assault, and Maryland has not had great success in landing players from the program. But that will not be an issue according to Dion Goodman.

D.C. Assault president "Curtis Malone told Jordan, ‘Any school you want to go to, I will make sure we call the right people.' Not only that, Maryland's quietly been working on Jordan through D.C. Assault."

Goodman is a Bowie native who grew up watching the Terps with his father, a longtime ACC and Maryland fan. He has been compared to local product and former all-American DerMarr Johnson at the same stage. ESPN recently filmed a segment about up-and-coming players featuring him alongside Michael Beasley and Kevin Durant.

"He's got a chance to be a big-time wing player. He's sort of in the mold of Kevin Durant. But I'd say a good comparison for him at the same age was DerMarr Johnson. He's very long and you can tell he's going to grow another three or four inches," D.C. Assault assistant director Damon Handon told TSR earlier this year. "He didn't play high school basketball last year so he's still a work in progress, but you can't teach a kid to be 6-7 and have a perimeter game. He's just all arms and legs."

Goodman has overcome some serious obstacles already. He was in a car accident four years ago that killed one of his friends and left him with two broken legs, a broken ankle and a broken collarbone. He had to re-learn the ability to walk, his father said.

And last year, his mother passed away.

Said local coach Joe Boncore, who has helped the Goodmans form a plan for Jordan's emergence on and off of the court."Jordan is an exceptional kid."

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