Goodson fitting in with new team

Published 7:41 am Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Flint Southwestern transfer Tatyanna Goodson is feeling right at home with the Niles girls basketball program. (Leader photo/File)

Flint Southwestern transfer Tatyanna Goodson is feeling right at home with the Niles girls basketball program. (Leader photo/File)

Entering this season, Niles girls basketball coach Patrick Touhey knew his team was going to be better than last year’s squad that did not win a game.

But he got an added bonus when Tatyanna Goodson transferred from Flint Southwestern to Niles.

She didn’t just arrive in time to start the season either. Goodson got to Niles in plenty of time to take part in the summer program that Touhey runs so she was able to get to know her teammates long before she played a game that counted.

Touhey says Goodson has fit in quite well with the rest of the squad, which has gotten off to a 7-2 start.

Goodson moved to Niles from Flint because of how things were going in the city.

“Flint was getting kind of bad and it was a better move for my brother, so we moved here,” she said. “As soon as school let out we moved here.”

The Goodsons are no stranger to the area.

“My mom used to live in Cass and we have family here in Niles,” she said.

Goodson said that her experience so far has been nothing but positive.

“It’s been really good,” she said. “There are times I miss Flint, but it has been really good here. Everybody here is very welcoming.”

Goodson said that although the Southwestern team she played on was good, players were not as close. Her new team is just that, a team.

“Everybody here is more like a family,” Goodson said. “The whole basketball team here hangs out together. There, they didn’t. They just played together. Everybody kind of did their own thing.”

Touhey has been impressed with how quickly Goodson has adapted.

“She is just a class kid and an honor student,” he said. “She is a very kind kid. So it has made it really easy for our kids to adjust to her. She is such an unselfish player and an unselfish person, the adjustment has been really, really easy.”

Touhey knows that the change hasn’t always been easy on Goodson.

“She has given up her senior year in a town and a school that she has been going to forever,” Touhey said. “For any kid that would be a very difficult adjustment. We understand there are moments when Tat needs extra support and encouragement and love from us so she can feel more a part of the program and the tradition here.

“The other thing we are very conscious of as coaches and players is that this is her senior year. Your senior year is supposed to be special. So we are paying even closer attention to the fact that somehow we need to make that more possible even though she hasn’t been around the program that long.”

Goodson has really started to come into her own after a slow start.

Each game she has improved and is becoming one of the Vikings’ top players.

“Tatyanna, when she played with us this summer we saw that she had the potential to really have a major impact for us,” Touhey said. “What a lot of people may not know about Tat is that she blew her knee out completely and she didn’t play at all last year. So she went through a very long rehab process.

“So there was a little rust and it was not only the skill rust, but the mental part of feeling safe again. I can tell you the last two and a half games she is playing at a different level than she did to start the season.”

Touhey and the Vikings hope that she continues that trend as they get into the heart of their schedule.

Niles will host Lakeshore tonight at 5:45 p.m. in a key Big 16 West Division contest.