It’s no secret that Benedict College junior center Marcus Goode is having another MVP-caliber season as evident by the 20.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks he’s currently averaging, all of which lead the SIAC.
He was even recently named Boxtorow’s National Player of the Week for averaging 23.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks in the Tigers three wins last week. And his accolade-attracting skills can be traced all the way back to Mid-Carolina High School and even to his short time at Division-I Marshall University.
Helping lead Benedict to the SIAC regular season title last season and keeping them in contention for another this season, Goode is obviously a force to be reckoned with, but what else do we really know about him?
Let’s begin with his transfer from Marshall.
“At Marshall University, everything got real bad,” he stated. He played in 13 games averaging 4.2 points and 2.8 rebounds. “[There was] no leadership, team discipline, and not a really good coaching staff.” His disappointing experience led him to Benedict, about 30 minutes away from his hometown, Chapin, S.C. “I got homesick, and I wanted my mom to watch me play,” he said.
Goode’s mother is the single parent to his being the only child. With his father absent as he grew up in an underprivileged neighborhood, his mom continuously fueled him. She even taught him how to fish, one of his unknown hobbies, and regularly attends his home games at Benjamin E. Mays HRC Arena.
He recognized his “talent for sport” early on when he competed in swimming, football, track and field, and, of course, basketball in high school. He’s been playing basketball for 14 years, but never thought his skills would take him this far.
“I grew from 6’3’’ to 6’9’’ between the eight and tenth grade,” said Goode. Although he broke Mid-Carolina’s discus throw record and won a state championship twice for shot put, he stuck with basketball. “It got me a free education,” he said.
While his athletic skills seem innate, Goode’s academic ability didn’t come as easily.
“I’m not really a school person,” he solemnly admitted. At Marshall, he was provided individual tutoring every day, but at Benedict there is only a grand study hall for the players. “I need as much help as I can get. It’s a struggle for me and I’m trying to work on it,” he affirmed.
He said his other college prospects included the University of Kansas and Georgetown University coming out of high school, but he unfortunately didn’t have the grades to attend those universities.
Another hurdle he cleared was escaping this troubled community. “I come from a poor background,” he claimed, “and making it out of my neighborhood motivates me to keep going.”
He prefers not to revisit his childhood streets in Chapin, but has to because he’s family-oriented.
His younger cousins who watch his games never fail to provide the 6-foot-10 big man with feedback. “They come up to me after every game and tell me how good I did,” he said, also identifying himself as a role model to them. Additionally, his dominance influences his team.
“Once they see me get into it, they get into it as well,” he said. And although he’s a conference and national statistical leader he says, “I really don’t think about myself because it’s a team thing.” He said you win championships together.
As a junior with another year left to play in college, Goode hopes to go to the next level. He said NBA and international scouts have reached out to his coaches and that he was inspired by his dream teammate, Kobe Bryant, a couple of years ago.
“I met him and it made me want to get better,” he said. “He told me to stay in school and work on my game,” which is exactly what he intends to do with basketball glued to his life long after he leaves Benedict.
“I wanna be successful, wealthy, hopefully living a great life with kids and a wife. Basketball is still going to be there,” he said. After his anticipative professional basketball career, he wants to coach. But he hopes that’s years down the line.
For now, he’s working day to day with his team to build a better chemistry. “We motivate each other to stay together…even through good and bad times,” Goode said about his teammates. He said in addition to harmony, they continue to seek out ways to win.