La Salle Prep graduate Aleah Goodman, now a key player for Oregon State, lets one fly from beyond the arc in a Jan. 25 rout over the University of Washington. (Courtesy Oregon State University)
La Salle Prep graduate Aleah Goodman, now a key player for Oregon State, lets one fly from beyond the arc in a Jan. 25 rout over the University of Washington. (Courtesy Oregon State University)

CORVALLIS — As a freshman, Oregon State guard Aleah Goodman didn’t get the kind of playing time she might have wanted. She was accustomed to leading a team, like she did for La Salle Prep in Milwaukie, guiding the Falcons to 5A state titles in 2015 and 2017. Three times during her high school career, Goodman was named Oregon 5A Player of the Year. 

The past glory didn’t matter much as a college freshman in Division I. Everyone is top-notch. But Goodman is a team player who relished the Beavers’ success, hustling through every minute of practice and playing her part.

But as an OSU sophomore, Goodman is stepping up at game time. In mid-February, she was named ESPNW’s National Player of the Week.

Goodman, a human development and family sciences major who stands 5 foot 9, averaged a team-best 18 points over the course of the Beavers’ three wins that week. She started off by putting up 22 points in an emotional victory over No. 2 Oregon. She hit all six of her free throws in the game, including several down the stretch to help ice the win.

Goodman followed that up with a big weekend, scoring 11 points vs. USC and 21 vs. UCLA. Her performance against the Bruins included a clutch 3-pointer in the closing minutes to help seal the triumph.

Overall, Goodman is averaging 10.5 points for the Beavers this season, and is shooting 40.7 percent from the floor and an impressive 40 percent from 3-point range. She has scored in double figures 15 times this season.

As a team, Oregon State is ranked No. 11 by the Associated Press. The Beavers are 24-7 on the season and 14-4 in Pac-12 play. They are likely to be a No. 3 seed in the NCAA championship bracket later this month. 

The numbers may be impressive, but Goodman’s character is even better, said Kelli Wedin, the La Salle Prep women’s basketball skipper. She coached Goodman for seven years, in club ball and at high school. 

“She didn’t care that she was one of our best players. She wanted the team to succeed,” said Wedin, who led LaSalle to another title this year. “She loved making an assist even more than knocking down a shot. We had to urge her to score. So selfless. She always was team first.”

At the same time, Wedin admires what she calls Goodman’s “blue collar work ethic” and competitive nature.

That whole package — being a servant leader but fiery to win — doesn’t come along all that often, said Wedin. “Aleah has refused to do anything but get better.”