Ailing Goodman benches frustration, gives knee, skills premier prep test

UM recruit sits 2 days, then plays at N.J. camp

July 09, 1999|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- The frustration of sitting hurt Tamir Goodman more than a sprained medial collateral ligament.

The Maryland-bound sensation from Baltimore missed his team's first four games at one of the nation's premier gatherings of prep basketball talent with a right knee injury. After two days of caution, he finally limped into the Adidas ABCD basketball camp at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

"I was frustrated for two reasons," Goodman said. "First, I've put so much work and effort into my game. Second, I normally don't care [what people think], but there's so much on me to prove myself at this level. I feel like I wrote an `A' paper and the dog ate it."

An Orthodox Jew whose fame is growing internationally, Goodman couldn't help his Pistons team keep from dropping to 0-5 in a camp that has attracted nearly 250 of the nation's top high schoolers.

Goodman's lack of lateral movement limited him defensively, but he showed his uncanny vision with a half-dozen assists. Milwaukee Bucks coach George Karl, University of Arizona coach Lute Olson and a dozen men in yarmulkes were among the curiosity-seekers. They got a look while they could, because Goodman said he wasn't sure if he would play in today's games.

Though Goodman accepted a scholarship offer from Maryland in January, he still doesn't know where he'll spend his senior year of high school. He mentioned Beth Tfiloh, City and De Matha, but Harold Katz, his coach at Talmudical Academy last season, said "De Matha turned us down."

Goodman's teammates on the Pistons include Matt Slaninka, the 7-foot-3 project who will also sign with Maryland in the fall, and Chris Wilcox, one of the top prospects from North Carolina. Wilcox, 6-9, who has had some of the best dunks in the tournament, mentioned Maryland, North Carolina and N.C. State among the front-runners for his signature.

Pub Date: 7/09/99

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