July 22, 2014
By Jon Cooper
The Good Word
For Sasha Goodlett, the Sky’s the limit.
The WNBA’s Chicago Sky, that is.
Goodlett is in her first season with the Sky and third season in the WNBA, after being drafted in the first round of the 2012 WNBA Draft (No. 11) overall, by the Indiana Fever, and being a part of their run to that year’s championship. After being released following the `13 season, she was signed as a free agent by the Sky in April.
It continued her dream of playing on the pro level, which also has seen her play in China, France and South Korea.
Goodlett finished her college career ranked in the top 10 in Georgia Tech history in scoring (1,364 points, 10th), rebounds (760, 9th), blocked shots (127, fifth) and setting the record for most games (134, tied with teammate Mo Bennett, starting 127 of them), and earned Second-Team All-ACC honors as a senior.
But she never got to play in McCamish Pavilion. Her first game there came Sunday, July 13, when the Sky played the Atlanta Dream (an 81-79 overtime loss). She’ll get another chance on Friday, when Chicago returns to Atlanta to play the Dream, again in McCamish.
The Good Word got a chance to talk with Goodlett following that game. She talked about traveling overseas to play pro basketball, playing in McCamish, why Chicago is her kind of town and even a little in Korean.
THE GOOD WORD: How did it feel to finally play your first game on this floor?
SASHA GOODLETT: I know. I felt really excited and really blessed that I was able to come home and actually play on the floor that I helped play a part in getting built. So I felt really happy to be here.
TGW: What do you think of the facility?
GOODLETT: It’s gorgeous. It’s amazing. I wish we could play here every time we came to Atlanta. I feel like this program has put in a lot of work and deserves an arena like this. Just to know that we’re going to have so many fans come in and they’re going to be comfortable and have a good time and experience here at Tech is a wonderful thing.
TGW: Can you feel the difference with the crowd at McCamish vs. other facilities in which you’ve played?
GOODLETT: It feels much more intense. You can feel the crowd a lot more. It feels like you’re surrounded and the focal point is the court. In the old gym it was more scattered and at Philips it’s more scattered, where it’s like watching a movie. Here it’s like a boxing match, where you’re on top of it, you get to see it and you get to yell and cheer and everything can be heard.
TGW: What did you think about the theater lighting?
GOODLETT: Those lights are hot (laughs). They’re a lot warmer than the other lights. But it kind of gives an exciting feel to it, especially like it’s the same lighting that the Lakers use so I feel like it makes you more excited to be there and more excited to play.
TGW: Have you seen any of your former teammates or coaches?
GOODLETT: Actually. My best friend, who’s a former Tech player, Shaday Word-Daniels now, she just got married over the weekend, I was able to come home and be at her wedding. The reception was actually here. They had their reception here and it was beautiful. I feel like a lot of Georgia Tech weddings might be happening here from now on.
TGW: What’s it like being back on campus?
GOODLETT: It brings back so many memories, good and bad. It also allows me to reflect on how much I’ve actually grown and how much I owe to Georgia Tech that I’ve grown up and matured a lot into the woman I am today.
TGW: How is life in Chicago?
GOODLETT: It’s windy! It’s the windy city (laughs). But once you get past the wind and you get to the summer days it’s really nice. It’s a beautiful city. I went to Giordano’s, the deep-dish pizza place. The pizza was good. You’ve got to give it about an hour to cook though. But the city is beautiful. The different buildings and the lights. I haven’t made it to a Broadway show yet but that’s the next thing on my list. They have “Motown” playing now, so I’m really excited about seeing that.
TGW: What was the experience like playing in Korea last summer?
GOODLETT: Korea was great. I got to go over there and learn a different language. I haven’t mastered it yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be going back there next year so I have to break out my Rosetta Stone. It’s just beautiful countryside. I was able to go over there with the girls and we ended up winning a championship. I really love Korea so I’m really excited about going back.
TGW: What was the first phrase that you learned?
GOODLETT: `Pi gon he yo’ (Pea-gohh-hay-yo). That means, `I’m tired.’ They run so much and they’re in great shape. So when us Americans come and we start running with them it’s like, `Oh my God. They do this 24-7!’ You really appreciate everything that they do and how hard they work and you also appreciate everything that you’ve been given here. The culture is so different. Everything is so disciplined. It’s a great country, though. I love it. Their culture is interesting. They have beautiful hills and mountainsides. When you’re travelling, riding the bus to other towns, like Icheon and other places, they’re so gorgeous.
TGW: Have you gotten used to all the travel?
GOODLETT: I love to travel. That’s one reason why I’m so happy and blessed that I got to go overseas. The most beautiful place I visited was Spain. I went for a vacation, though. So that’s why I had so much fun.
TGW: Do you look forward to coming back here and playing in McCamish again on July 25?
GOODLETT: Of course! I love coming home.
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