Mariners Gear up for season

August 13th, 2013

Mariners gear up for season

by Josh Adrich, Nanaimo Daily News

The Vancouver Island University Mariners men's basketball team is still three weeks away from beginning their national title defence, but their biggest recruit of the off-season is already in town.

Seth Goodman arrived in Nanaimo on Sunday from Biloxi, Miss., and has spent the week working out and helping coach the area's young up-and-coming players.

Already, he is making an impression on head coach Matt Kuzminski.

"He's been super eager to get in the gym and that's a necessity of being a good player," he said. "He's very active in getting to the hoop, he's very athletic. He's still got some work to do with his fundamentals, but he seems eager to learn and he's coachable."

Goodman, 24, is just working on getting acclimatized to the area.

He has bounced around a bit in his college career. The Katy, Texas, product spent last year with Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina, but was unable to play for them after he ran out of credits for the junior college level, having already played two years in Wisconsin.

VIU offered him a chance to keep playing as he works towards a degree in international business studies, and so now he finds himself north of the 49th Parallel for the playing basketball for the first time.

"I like, there's a lot do, it's a lot better than South Carolina, which is pretty dead and a lot smaller than this," said the six-foot-seven forward. "There's a lot of basketball, so I really like that."

He is enjoying the opportunity to work with the young kids during the VIU camps, saying basketball is very different up here, especially at the youth level.

"They have some talent, but they're a lot different than American kids, they're a lot less hardheaded," said Goodman. "America has a lot athletes, dime-a-dozen athletes, and I feel up here it's a lot more about fundamentals."

The week-long camp has grown a lot with one of it's bigger turnouts this season, with 27 kids in the 9-14 age group in the morning and 37 in the 15-18 group in the afternoons.

It is a point of encouragement for Kuzminski, as it helps the Pacific Western Athletic Association program out in a few different areas.

"It's good for us from a recruiting standpoint, we get to see all of these players who come out, and also, it's huge for us for fundraising," he said. "We've had our best draw in my memory of this camp. .. the numbers are higher than they've been in a long time."

This weekend the M's are off to Langley for a club tournament. VIU will be fielding a team of rookies and first-year players, including Goodman. It will be Kuzminski's first opportunity to really see how they look out on the floor in game situations.

"We'll have a better idea of what they can do after the weekend, especially Seth," he said. "I'm not sure how much coaching there will be, it will be more just let the guys play."