Notre Dame player returns to father’s alma mater


(NewsNation) — From highs to lows, good shots and bad misses, a basketball team is kinda like a family.

And as the madness of March gets in full swing, one player could be having a family reunion on the court.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are hitting the NCAA Tournament floor for the first time since 2017.

But for Notre Dame guard Dane Goodwin, his hoops family and real family are actually at quite the crossroads inside the University of Dayton Arena.

Goodwin’s dad, Damon Goodwin, is a Hall of Fame Dayton Flyer.

“It’s gonna be really cool to see him out there,” his dad said. “I can tell you that the arena has changed since I played. But it’s still a great atmosphere and it’s still one of the best places to play college basketball. So it’s gonna be great to see him in that environment.”

As Notre Dame is set to take on Rutgers, both 11 seeds, Goodwin said, “I’ve been around this arena a few times and am ready to break it in a little bit and get going.”

In the fall of 2015, Goodwin’s dad was diagnosed with leukemia, forcing him to take a break from coaching.

“Well, Dane was a sophomore when that happened,” he said. “And we probably did become closer because I was home all the time. And, you know, that was a tough year for all of us.”

So all Goodwin eyes will be on Dane, as his dad watches his son’s first dance on a familiar floor.

“I’ve been on this journey and he’s helped me every step of the way,” Goodwin said. “It’s just coming from him. He’s been through this process and he knows what it’s like. He’s been in the tournament, so I’ve asked him you know, things about that, too. It’s been pretty cool.”

It will be emotional for the family as Goodwin takes the court.

“And you know, when you’re a coach and a dad, you got to step away sometimes to try to be the dad and not the coach,” the elder Goodwin said. “And I’m just excited to watch him like you said at UD arena playing at a place that his sister’s mother and I all went to school and I was fortunate enough to play and to see him play in that same place is a is a pretty neat thing for fans.”

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