Phil-Mont Christian's Jana Goodman puts academics first, but has always had the skill and a strong love for basketball. By signing to play at Kutztown University on Wednesday, she solidified a chance showcase her talents both in the classroom and on the court at the next level.
Goodman, a four-year varsity player, has been an outstanding player and leader throughout her career at PMCA. Although there were some questions about how high her ceiling was heading into high school, she quickly showed a knack for rebounding in her freshman year and kept improving over time.
"When a freshman comes in and can step right up to varsity level, you know that she is going to be a very good player,' PMCA coach Bill DeHeer said. "We weren't quite sure how good she would be in Middle School, but you really can't teach the presence she has around the rim.'
Some may have projected Goodman as Division I talent, but DeHeer is happy that she decided to go Division II instead.
"I'm really pleased that she decided against Division I because she found a level that she can perform well at,' DeHeer said. "It's not a status thing with her. She just wants to play the game she loves and she made sure that happens by picking the school she did.'
Goodman plans to study elementary and special education at Kutztown, with the hopes of being a teacher and coach after she graduates. Once she saw the campus, reviewed the education program and spoke with the basketball coaches, she knew that Kutztown was the right fit for her.
"Kutztown was my first college visit and I fell in love with the campus right away,' Goodman said. "It just looked and felt like home to me. The coaches were really nice and I found out that freshman get a lot of playing time. I also felt like I could play really well in their offense.'
The ability to play right away was one of the most alluring attributes to the basketball program.
"I didn't want to just practice and sit the bench,' Goodman said. "I wanted to make sure that I was able to put my hard work in practice on the court during games. I really want to grow in and get better at the sport I'm playing. It's also a way to keep me involved at school.'
Although Goodman knows that it will be a difficult adjustment to balance athletics and academics in college, she will still hold herself to the high standard she always has for both.
"I want to keep a tight schedule and keep my priorities straight,' Goodman said. "My parents have always pushed me and kept me grounded. Grades were always number one and everything else is second. I will definitely do my best to focus on both school and basketball.'
As Goodman's high school career comes to an end, she will reflect on all that she has learned over the past four years and apply that to the start of her new adventure next fall. If the present is any indication of the future, Goodman will be successful in anything she puts her mind to.
"I've learned to be patient with both myself and teammates,' Goodman said. "I learned to be a leader and to make sure everyone on the team is on the same page. I played while keeping my academics up in high school, so I don't think it will be too difficult for me in college.'