Megan Gustafson had it. Monika Czinano has it.
And according to Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder, Sharon Goodman has it, too.
She has the ability, the mentality, the potential to be a post of major impact in the Big Ten.
“Sharon’s a lot like Megan and Monika,” Bluder said. “She runs the floor really well. She embraces contact. She’s that post the wants to be down on the block, and those are hard to find.”
Goodman is 6-foot-3, equipped with both strength and mobility. And like her recent post predecessors at Iowa, she possesses uncanny touch around the basket.
In her career at Crestwood High School, Goodman converted 71.4 percent of her field-goal attempts, including 73.5 percent during her senior season.
The Cadets were 81-13 in her four years, highlighted by a 26-0 season in 2018 that was capped by a Class 3A state championship.
Goodman finished her career with 1,798 points and 817 rebounds. She averaged 27.0 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game as a senior as the Cadets went 18-5.
But the ending was far from storybook.
Goodman’s mother, Connie, died Feb. 10 after a four-year battle with cancer. She was 58.
“She was diagnosed (with melanoma) when I was in eighth grade, but we kept in the quiet for a long time,” Sharon said. “I couldn’t believe all the support.
“It’s been hard on my family, but God has a plan. We have the best community, the best friends, the best God.”
Two of Goodman’s future teammates — Shateah Wetering and Lauren Jensen — attended the funeral, as did Bluder and staff.
Five days after her mother’s funeral, Goodman’s high-school career ended in a 60-59 regional-semifinal loss to Waukon, which scored at the buzzer.
“Yeah, it was a tough couple of weeks there,” Goodman said. “Waukon is a great team, always one of our toughest competitors. They played a great game.”
Then, in mid-March, COVID-19 began to invade Iowa. Schools closed, and like all other high-school seniors, Goodman found herself in what she calls “a weird place.
“Until the last few days, I didn’t know if I should still be thinking about high school — prom, graduation, scholarship night, track — or about Iowa,” she said.
Goodman’s classes at Crestwood High School have been converted to pass/fail for the semester, but she’s staying busy with three online college courses — AP calculus, plus composition and literature.
She helps her father, Brian, with chores on their farm — though “probably not as much as I should,” she said — between Lime Springs and Saratoga in Howard County. The family raises feeder calves.
“She a blue-collar farm girl,” Bluder said. “She has that tough mentality, a great work ethic.”
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Bluder’s top lieutenant, associate head coach Jan Jensen, has gained a reputation as a wizard with posts. Under Jensen’s eye, Gustafson blossomed into the consensus national player of the year in 2019. And Czinano was an all-Big Ten performer last season as a sophomore.
“Jan is a phenomenal coach. The girls she has trained, they’ve really risen up,” Goodman said. “It’s crazy. That’s one reason I picked Iowa.
“She told me she sees things in me that she saw in Megan.”
Czinano is the lone returning back-to-the-basket post. There are minutes there for Goodman to earn, right away.
“I’m going to go in there and work hard,” Goodman said. “I want to challenge my teammates, and whatever that means and wherever that takes me, I’m OK with it.”
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