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By LARRY VAUGHT
Guard Archie Goodwin takes pride in his defense, and that was even obvious during the various all-star games he played in with some of the nation’s best players.
“It was fun and a little tiring. With all the flights we had to do to get there and back, it was tiring. But it was a lot of fun playing with the guys and hanging out and seeing what everybody was like,” the incoming UK freshman from Arkansas said. “But I am very competitive. I hate losing. I take losing very hard in any game, big or small. I just do not like to lose and I try to do what I need to do for my team to win.
“I work on my game a lot. I usually go in the gym for 2 1/2 hours and then I run and condition. It’s not just natural ability that I have. I may have a lot of athletic ability, but I work on my legs a lot. I have put a lot of hard work into being a good player.”
Datron Humphrey, his stepfather, says Goodwin has an “unbelievable” work ethic.
“He will never stop working. Sometimes during the school year I knew his body was tired and I would tell him that he might need to take some days off, and he was not for any of that,” Humphrey said. “The kid loves being in the gym. It is crazy how much he loves being in the gym. That’s all he likes to do.”
That has enable Goodwin to use both hands to handle the ball and get to the rim as well as take great pride in his defense.
“Both my dad and stepdad said that guys that are the best players use both hands, shoot from the outside, go to the rim, play defense and do all the little things they can do really well,” Goodwin said. “I want to be a top player and show all that.”
Humphrey says “it wasn’t hard” to get Goodwin to work to perfect his skills.
“We kind of had like a routine we would do after homework every day after school. We would go outside and bounce balls left hand, right hand and in and out of cones,” Humphrey said. “I remember telling him that we can’t do anything about his height or size, that was up to God. But if he did grow and had great ballhandling skills, that would be a big plus. That’s how he developed the ability to use both hands, and he picked it up pretty easy. We did a lot of reps every day and it was just something he was accustomed to doing.
“We basically had to come from the bottom to get to where we are now. We just did things over and over and over. I was kind of rough on him. But I knew what he wanted to do and he knew what he wanted to do. Opportunities are so slim in basketball, and we knew he had to work to get what he wanted.”