Waiting game: Cameron Goodwin signs with Dyersburg State

Cameron Goodwin signed his national letter of intent to play basketball with Dyersburg State Community College June 9.

Sarah Claire Miller, Staff Writer

Cameron Goodwin loved basketball so much as a child that “ball” was his first word. He’s been playing the game as long as he can remember, but the sport he loves has kept him in a holding pattern for weeks.

Now, the wait is over. After watching three of his senior teammates from the state championship Center Hill High School Mustangs move on to play at the next level, Goodwin has signed his national letter of intent with Dyersburg State Community College.

“I just kept looking at them and thinking ‘I want that to be me,’ so now that it’s me I’m really happy and excited that I know that feeling,” Goodwin said at his June 9 signing in the CHHS gym. “It feels good. It took a while, because it’s June and already summer, but it’s good to know where I’m going and where I’m playing.”

Head boys basketball coach Newton Mealer said that’s just the way it is.  

“Sometimes it just takes that long to go through the process for colleges to look at the guys that they’re recruiting and then offer them scholarships,” Mealer said. “If one person doesn’t take the scholarship then they kind of keep moving on. In this case, for Cameron, he decided to go through two different tryouts, and then we had to get his transcript sent off and ACT scores, so it just took a little bit more time than usual.”

Mealer said the 5-foot-10-inch Goodwin brought a lot to the table for the Mustangs during his senior year.

“He was coming off the summer where he was averaging right around 12 points per game for us,” Mealer said. “As we got into our regular season, his role changed a little bit for our program and he became more of a defensive stopper, really guarded the other team’s best player. He was one of the best 3-point shooters we had on our team.”

Despite his stats, “I wasn’t really recruited that much, so I had to go to a bunch of tryouts,” Goodwin said. “I went to like five or six different tryouts at junior colleges and NAIA schools, and there were around 30 people at each one and they would only sign two or three from each one.”

The Dyersburg tryout made all the difference.

“I did really well and the coach really liked me and the way I played, and then I just ended up signing there,” Goodwin said.

Coach Charles Taylor and the Eagles will be getting more than a point guard in Goodwin, Mealer said.

“Dyersburg State’s getting a great player,” he said, along with integrity and a strong work ethic. “Cameron’s the ultimate teammate, the guy that sacrifices, and is well-liked by the student body.”

Mustangs center Decorian Payton said Goodwin is like a brother.

“Off the court, it was more than a basketball thing,” Payton said. “On the court, we were teammates, but we had this bond that nobody could come between. He’s just a good teammate to have.”

Cheryl Goodwin said her son, whose first word truly was “ball,” has always been part of a basketball team.

“It would be Cameron at five or six years old and a bunch of older kids out there playing basketball for hours and hours,” she said. “He always loved to play.”