BYFIELD — The words "senior point guard" hardly do Governor's Academy hoops star Katherine Goodwin justice.
Aside from being one of the most prolific scorers in her school's history, the modest Goodwin is the past poster-girl for the AAU basketball Web site, an ambitious student, and a caring, family-oriented sister and daughter.
Don't bother asking what she averages or what her season high is, because box scores and numbers honestly don't matter. She's proud of all her accomplishments including scoring her 1,000th career point earlier this season. Who wouldn't be when you're destined for Division 1 Ivy League basketball at University of Columbia and are currently a potential McDonald's High School All-American?
The truth is, making her family happy is what truly matters to Goodwin.
Friend and coach Erin O'Connell has known Goodwin since she was a freshman, and apart from being her advisor and her junior year American Studies instructor, O'Connell can attest to how special an individual Goodwin is.
"Katherine is just a great person," exudes O'Connell. "She's a leader in school, on and off the court. She's honest, and she has a really strong moral compass.
"As far as basketball, everything starts with Katherine," said O'Connell. "Though she's more of a natural point guard, she's our main source of scoring and can really shoot the ball. She leads the team in rebounding and most likely every other category; Katherine can guard other point guards and when asked to, guard the post just as successfully.
"She has great basketball IQ and brings a lot of intangibles to our team,"explained O'Connell. "And now that she's a senior, she's excelled in her role as captain. She plays hard, she plays hurt. Basically anything you want in a player she does it."
Since Goodwin's arrival as a freshman on the varsity team, O'Connell explains that her presence has once again made the Govs relevant in the Independent School League.
"She's elevated us to a new level," stated O'Connell. "Before she joined, the team wasn't in a very good place. But since she signed on, we've been in the tournament three out of four years. Katherine only knows how to win.
"When you have a girl like Katherine on your team, being down six points isn't that bad because you know she's going to do something special," explained O'Connell. "Amazing us has become common-place with her."
Goodwin, who just recently moved from Stratham to Goffstown, NH, commutes an hour everyday to reach Byfield.
Despite her love affair with basketball (numerous tournaments, leagues and even coaching with her sister Deanna), Goodwin has touched base on most sports.
"My mom always wanted us to be as well-rounded as possible," said Goodwin. "I still play soccer, I played softball for a couple years, and I played lacrosse through middle school.
"It was around the seventh-grade that I became more serious with sports and basically decided to focus on basketball as much as I could," explained Goodwin. "Though I continue to play soccer because it helps keep me in shape and my agility high."
Growing up the youngest of five kids, Goodwin learned what it was like to compete with older, stronger athletes from the start.
"I have three older brothers and an older sister who are all into sports," explained Goodwin.
Never babying their younger sister too much, lowering the hoop to suit her still-growing muscles just wasn't going to happen. Combined with the fact that many of Goodwin's cousins lived nearby, a veritable basketball all-star would have to be the result. Among personal heroes like Larry Bird, Allen Iverson and Garth Brooks, the idols closest to Goodwin's heart are also the one's closest to home.
"I really feel like my family is as tight as it gets," beamed Goodwin. "My siblings try to come to every game, and my mom and dad are just the best. Never mind sports, the way they raised us is just unbelievable."
With schools like UConn, Holy Cross, Seton Hall and Harvard on their daughter's recruiting list, Goodwin's parents are undoubtedly gratified with how their daughter's progressed. But there's more to life than basketball, and Goodwin is all too aware of what her opportunity at Columbia holds.
"I know basketball will take up a lot of time, but I love to write," explained Goodwin. "You never know what the future holds, and though I'd like to take basketball as far as possible, journalism or communications is something that I would love to explore.
"Writing is something that I've always enjoyed doing, and like basketball, it's something you can constantly improve at," stated Goodwin, who is also picking up guitar. "Academics has always been first in my family, and I think having a journalism degree from Columbia would be unbelievable."
Just recently Goodwin was nominated to play at the famous McDonald's All-American game, a contest that will feature numerous division one standouts as well as future WNBA athletes. Though the honor is something Goodwin is still dazed about, other memories have a similar impact.
"Being a freshman on the varsity squad was something that overwhelmed me at first," explained Goodwin. "But a couple seniors who I'm still great friends with really helped me along and made me feel comfortable.
"Since then, I feel like the chemistry on the team has just been incredible," said Goodwin. "This has been my favorite year, and playing with these girls has been so much fun."
Whether Goodwin is selected to play in the McDonald's game or not, the future looks immeasurably bright for the Columbia-bound point guard.
"It would be great to start as a freshman and get a lot of minutes," explained Goodwin. "I just love college basketball, and I'm really excited to finally be a part of it."
The Goodwin File
Name: Katherine Goodwin
School: Governor's Academy
Hobbies: Guitar, writing, soccer
Key accomplishment: Recently named finalist for McDonald's High School All-American
Future plans: Will play basketball at University of Columbia