Illinois basketball had a fairly successful season last year going 23-10 and making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Over the last couple of seasons, the Illini have been able to win a game in the postseason, but most fans want more. We want to see the team reach greater heights now that we are back in the upper echelon of the college basketball world.
One player who will help the Illinois basketball program reach those heights is Luke Goode. The talented wing joined the Illini last season as a four-star recruit. Brad Underwood and his coaching staff were able to secure Goode’s commitment despite there being zero history of Illinois recruiting the Fort Wayne, Indiana area.
From what I can tell, Goode is actually the first Fort Wayne native to ever suit up for the Orange and Blue. In his first year in Champaign, Goode was a big part of Illinois’ bench play. He averaged 8.9 minutes in each contest and would put up 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting 37.2% from three-point range.
Despite Goode now being roughly 200 miles away from his hometown, he doesn’t forget where he came from. He doesn’t forget where his basketball roots started.
Illinois basketball guard Luke Goode is sharing his basketball knowledge with the youths.
It is now the offseason, and while most college kids are just relaxing at home, Goode is sharing his knowledge and skills with the next generation.
Goode and Caleb Furst, a former Fort Wayne high school basketball star and current Purdue player, just completed their annual basketball camp. This is their second season of leading the camp, and by what Goode tweeted on Monday, he is excited about year three of the camp in 2023.
Being an elite talent at the game of basketball is extremely difficult, and Goode sharing that knowledge of the game is something that is invaluable. He shared some insight with me about where the joy of teaching the game comes from.
“I love to teach the game that gave so much to me. From a young age, I looked up to so many players who came before me. For kids now to look at me this way, it’s a blessing and enjoyable. To me, it’s giving back to the sport and community that gave me so much.”
Goode is now having an impact on these kids like some of the players he looked up to had an impact on him.
Fort Wayne and the state of Indiana have had some great players come through the pipeline over the years, Goode being one of them. But there are a couple of players who really had a big impact on Goode and his game.
“Caleb Swanigan and Matt Roth are two guys I remember looking up to. Caleb was a great player for Homestead and Purdue, and Matt was a great player for Indiana. I remember watching them on TV and wanting to play Big Ten basketball.”
Goode saw what he wanted to do, set a goal, and he has now accomplished that goal by finishing up his first season with the Illini. His second year with Illinois is on the horizon, and Goode is poised to have a good season under Underwood. But don’t look for the Fort Wayne guard to take up coaching anytime in the future.
“To be honest, coaching isn’t something I would choose first by any means, but I do enjoy teaching the game. In terms of career stuff, I am not looking at becoming a coach, but you never know.”
Coaching might not be something Goode goes into whenever his basketball career has concluded, but his impact on the kids he is teaching at his camp will be felt for years. He still remembers coming up in the basketball ranks and looking up to some of the great players in the state of Indiana. Goode is now one of those great players.