Simone Goods admits she was scared.
She played basketball at Western Kentucky last season as a freshman, but did not feel comfortable there and transferred to Kirkwood this season for the next step in her career.
All of a sudden, she went from an NCAA Division I basketball program with all expenses paid to a junior college. It helped that Deleyah Harris, one of her best friends from Omaha, was already playing at Kirkwood, but there were some anxious moments.
"I was definitely scared," Goods said Saturday night, "but I just had a lot of support."
That support came from her family, her new teammates and from Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl and his entire staff.
"Coach Muhl always talks to me about how I've blossomed," she said, "because when I first got here he always tells me I was like a sad little dog."
Goods laughed when she made that last remark, because it came shortly after the 6-foot-2 center helped the Eagles win the NJCAA Division II national title in Arkansas Saturday night.
Goods had a big double-double in the championship game with 19 points and 17 rebounds against Johnson County, despite being double-teamed most of the night. She was named the MVP of the national tournament, adding to her collection as the league MVP and regional MVP this season.
Goods averaged 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds this season and likely will be named a first team All-American when the postseason honors are announced. Keep in mind, she compiled those numbers despite playing only 21.7 minutes per game on a team that won all 37 of its games by more than 30 points per contest.
Goods shot 67.5 percent from the field, a mark that led the nation, and also displayed a fine touch at the foul line, hitting 76 percent of her free throws.