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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Saturday, January 28, 2012


How do you tell a prolific scorer not to shoot? How do you prepare a 1,000-point scorer in high school for riding the bench in college?

When that player's name is Jake Godino, it's all relative.

Godino, a senior at Temple, has played a total of 23 minutes and shot 4-for-9 from the field for 12 points ... in three seasons. At Delaware County Christian School, where Godino earned his acclaim, that would be considered a night's work.

But Godino, a Chester native who spent three years of his youth in North Philadelphia, wanted to play at Temple. It's the only college to which he applied. And it's paid off for him. The 6-0 senior guard has gone from practice-squad player, to walk-on, to scholarship athlete since arriving at Temple in 2008-09.

“When I was 10 years old, we lived on Carlisle Street (in North Philadelphia) for a couple years, two blocks up from here, and I grew up watching Lynn Greer and Alex Wesby,” Godino said of the Temple greats. “I was the ballboy for them when I was 10, so this was always the dream.”

Instead of pursuing a playing career at a Division II or III institution, Godino is living out his dream, which came to fruition this month, when Temple coach Fran Dunphy offered him a scholarship for the final semester of an undergraduate career for the Sports and Rec Management major.

“When Jeff (Wilson, Temple's director of basketball operations) called me into his office recently and said, 'I think we can get you that scholarship,' I got choked up,” Godino said Saturday, following Temple's 78-60 win against Saint Joseph's. “I don't think I said a word.”

Godino, with 73 seconds to go and Temple holding a sizeable lead, used a step-off move to create space and bury a 16-foot jumper from the left side. In the long run, it meant nothing toward Temple's NCAA Tournament resume. But that shot, like everything else in Godino's career, hasn't gone unappreciated.

“Guys like me, Nick (Pendergast) and Jimmy (McDonnell), we're always talking at practice about (playing time)," Godino said of he and his benchmates. "The coaches tell us they appreciate what we bring to the team. We're always appreciated.

"I appreciate what Delco Christian did for me. I wish the tradition of winning was carried on a bit more. It's dropped off a bit, but I love what they did for me. I love that school. It was the stepping stone to get here and I don't forget that. I appreciate everything they did for me."

That includes the Atlantic 10 championships and the NCAA Tournament bids - and opening-round win last March. Godino said he'd appreciate one more crack at the Big Dance.

“There's nothing like the tournament," Godino said. "Everybody's so happy to be there. The flight to wherever we're going is great. If I remember one thing, when I'm old and everything, the thing that will stick out is the tournament. That's how I feel about it."


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