The Hawks on Tuesday officially signed former Norcross High guard Brandon Goodwin to a two-way contract, which stipulates he play the bulk of the season with the team’s G League affiliate in College Park and no more than 45 days with the NBA club.
Playing on a similar two-way deal with Denver last season, the 6-foot-1 guard appeared in 27 G League games, averaging 21.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists. He appeared in 16 games with the Nuggets, averaging 1.4 points and 0.9 assists in 3.6 minutes.
He played for the Nuggets entry in the Las Vegas Summer League last month and in four games averaged 18.5 points, 5.5 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 27.5 minutes.
Undrafted in 2018 out of Florida Gulf Coast, where he was the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, Goodwin spoke Tuesday about the opportunity to come play in both the G League and, perhaps, the NBA without ever leaving home.
Q: Walk us through the emotions of having the chance to perhaps play for your hometown team?
A: It’s crazy. At first you don’t think about how much goes into effect until you’re actually here. Just talking with my mom, it will be a lot easier on her, being able to help her, be around so she can be at every home game that she can. That helps me a lot knowing I have support of family and friends right behind me. And they don’t have to travel across the U.S. to see me play. They can just go down the street.
Q: Did you grow up a Hawks fan? (His mother, Swan, moved from Columbia, S.C., to Atlanta when Goodwin was in middle school, to expose him to better competition).
A: Not really. I went to a few games, of course. But at that time I was just playing basketball myself, I wasn’t really watching a lot of NBA basketball when I was younger. I didn’t want to go to the NBA when I was younger. I wanted to be a professional video game player or something like that.
Q: Does it give you hope that last year the Hawks had a two-way guy (guard Jaylen Adams) who got converted into a fully guaranteed contract?
A: It definitely gives me hope. I know Jaylen, I got to talk with him some, sharing his experience and what he went through. I definitely want to follow in those footsteps.
A two-way is a blessing, for sure. But I obviously want to keep working my way up. That’s what I do, I work hard and I think the Hawks have given me a great opportunity to showcase what I can do.
I believe in myself and I have people around me who believe in me. I’ve just got to make it happen.
Q: What did you learn last season from being around a good young team like the Nuggets?
A: I learned consistency. I learned that staying in the gym is not just about basketball. It’s about watching film, being a professional in every way. Those guys took it seriously no matter what – wins, losses, days off, everyone was still in the gym. It was the type of atmosphere that I love to be around, competing in practice even when you got a game the next day. Everything was taken seriously.
Q: For those who haven’t seen your game, what do you provide on the court?
A: I think a little bit of everything. I think one thing people don’t know that I do is I play defense. I play full-court defense. I like to bring energy. I can shoot it, handle it, rebound. I know it’s just the G League to some people, but I think I did a little bit of everything that people might want to see.
Q: Did you have options to go with other teams this season, and, if so, what made the Hawks stand out?
A: I did, but I made sure my agent and I were on the same page, being in the best position to play in the NBA. I probably had more interest from some other teams, but I stayed focused on the Hawks because I understood what happened with Jaylen, and how that affected him, being able to get that call-up and sign a full contract. I wanted to follow in those footsteps. I thought it would be a better path here with the Hawks.
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