When you have a basketball program like the one head coach Gary Lee has built over at Chavez High School – one that’s never had less than 20 wins a season in the nine years Lee’s been head coach – you tend to attract top notch talent to said program, which Lee most definitely has done.
The Champions lost a good number of seniors from last year’s 29-win team. However, Chavez has a young, up-and-coming talent on their roster in soon-to-be 16-year old Rashaad Goolsby.
Goolsby can play either the small forward or power forward positions, depending on the situation at hand and depending on various matchups.
The Champions already have one strong front court presence in senior forward Pablo Rivas, which everything offense and defense goes through. Goolsby’s been doing a lot of OJT – On The Job Training – with Rivas in order to get himself up to speed on how the game is supposed to be played, and it’s paying off for him.
“In practice, he pushes me hard,” Goolsby said. “When I get down, he picks me up. Whenever I need help on something, he’s always there.”
“He’s just a good teammate and a good leader for us,” Goolsby said.
Some of those leadership skills are rubbing off on Goolsby, as he continues to develop his game out in Laveen, Ariz.
Even though he’s young, he’s got the physical makeup and the ability to move around the court and make his own shots happen and shots happen for his teammates, which he’s all in favor of.
“I’m a big team player,” Goolsby said. “If you’re open, I’ll give it to you. If I have an open jump shot and you have a layup, I’ll give it to you, because that’s an easier shot.”
“On defense, I just try and play sound defense and try and not let my man get to the basket and help my teammates on defense if they get beat,” Goolsby said.
At 6’4″, 163 pounds, Goolsby is very visible on the basketball court. His coaches and teammates have been in the gym and in the weight room, working with Goolsby to get him stronger so he can be even more of a threat in the low post.
“I don’t like getting pushed around,” Goolsby said. “I have to deal with Pablo [Rivas] all the time in practice. I don’t like it very much.”
With a program like Chavez’s – who’s been around a relatively short time – the top notch talent spoken of earlier tends to breed a level of competition that a lot of programs don’t see, just because Chavez is known as being that program that consistently wins, year-in-and-year-out.
Goolsby is proud to be a part of the Champions, but he sees that competition is forcing him to raise his game.
“If you don’t work hard, then someone’s just going to pass you up, because it’s a lot of talented kids coming up,” Goolsby said. “Every year, it’s a new 15 kids as freshmen who want to take your spot, so you just gotta work hard.”