Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

March 29, 2013

Former Sequoyah guard has persevered in her career

There is a reason for everything. And in the case of Angel Goodrich, her journey at the University of Kansas testifies to it.

It’s taken the 5-foot-4 former Sequoyah High standout from trials to smiles — through not one but two ACL surgeries, one on each knee, and the struggle to return to the game that now, in the twilight of her career, has her in the NCAA Women’s Sweet 16 with a matchup Sunday against No. 2 Notre Dame at Norfolk, Va. The Irish are the top seed in that regional.

Without the trials, the smiles might’ve been taken for granted for the former Lady Indians who signed with Kansas in 2008.

She tore an ACL in October doing a crossover move in practice and then she tore the other as a sophomore during a game.

The mending wasn’t just with her knees.

“I learned a lot through it,” she said. “The first one was more mental because I had to open up to people around me and learn to trust them. I’ve always been that way about family and this was a situation away from that. Instead I’m opening up to coaches and teammates, opening up to trainers about how tough it was and receiving the love and care from a different support group than I was accustomed to.

“The second one was more physically difficult because I didn’t get back as quickly because of the range of motion and extension part, but by then I knew what was surrounding me.”

That presence of mind translated to the court in a big way.

After setting an Allen Fieldhouse record for most assists in a game (men’s or women’s) with 16 a year ago, the point guard became Kansas’ single-season and all-time assists leader this year, getting the latter mark in an upset of then No. 22 Oklahoma on Feb. 17. She is one of only eight players in Big 12 history to post 700 or more assists. She has 758.

Her 232 assists ranks her second in the Big 12 behind Iowa State’s Nikki Moody.

“She’s been exactly what I thought she was going to be in this league,” OU coach Sherri Coale said in a postgame statement in Lawrence, Kan., after Goodrich’s record-breaking night against her club. “I would have loved to have kept her home, but she’s had a great career here.”

By playing 21 more minutes, the first team All-Big 12 Conference guard will have also seen the floor over her career more than any other Jayhawk in history and has also joined the school’s 1,000 points club.

Still as soft-spoken as she was while leading Sequoyah to three consecutive Class 3A championships, she speaks with a sincere humility about those milestones.

“Any of those are not just about me but the people around me because ultimately they have to score for it to count in my favor. The way I look at it anything I’ve got has team around it.”

She’s watched two teammates go down with the same affliction she had a year ago.

“I’ve learned how to appreciate the moment and not take it for granted,” she said. “This part of my career is nearing an end but I don’t get caught up in that. At this point you just try and stay focused on the game ahead. You know it’s a win and you move on, lose and you’re done situation.”

While her primary role has been facilitator, Goodrich, who had 2,122 career points in four seasons at Sequoyah, has been a scoring spark as well. The seventh-leading scorer in the Big 12 at  14.4 points, she scored 20 points in the 12th-seeded Jayhawks’ 75-69 upset of South Carolina, 13 of those in the second half, and 14 in a 67-52 win against the fifth-seeded Colorado Buffaloes. She barely missed a double-double with eight assists in both games.

Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson has said on several occasions that Goodrich’s impact has elevated the Jayhawks program to a new level. Again, Goodrich’s humility speaks.

“I’m glad I’ve been in that role and on this team it’s been a great place to be in that role because everybody around me treats me and the information I pass on to them with respect,” Goodrich said. “That’s been the way we’ve operated as a team. I’ve been blessed here.”

And will continue to be blessed. She’s projected as a can’t miss top-10 WNBA draft pick. One mock draft has her going sixth to Seattle, three spots behind where the Tulsa Shock will select.

Ironically, Goodrich, who wanted to stay near home when she signed with Kansas, may wind up in the furthest WNBA city from home.

That’s OK. She’s toughened now, and not just in her knees.

“I’ve seen that (mock draft), and it’d be a nice place to play. I’m still a family person but at this point I know what’s ahead. Sue Bird (former University of Connecticut All-American) has been up there and knowing the kind of player she’s been, it would be neat to play with her or behind her.”

But first things first. Two wins in Norfolk puts Goodrich on one more collegiate stage — a Women’s Final Four.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Stocks