Ex-NYC basketball player Jayden Goodridge recalled ‘heart bigger than his size’

A Bronx man who was gunned down by an e-scooter rider was a former basketball player who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was killed, his former Hoops coach told The Post on Tuesday.

Jayden Goodridge, 21, was fatally hit multiple times in the stomach and another man was grazed in the lip by gunfire at East 149th Street and Jackson Avenue in Mott Haven on Sunday night, police said.

Police said they had no reason to believe Goodridge was the shooter’s intended target. The shooter is still at large.

“When I got the call from his mother [saying Goodridge was dead]I was getting ready for work and just couldn’t take the thought of what she was telling me,” said Andre Thomas, who coached the young man with AAU team Riverside Hawks from 2016-19.

Jayden Goodridge pictured in his high school years with Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains.
Jayden Goodridge pictured in his high school years with Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains.
Twitter / @StepinacHS

“Because we coach a lot of kids during our coaching career. There are certain ones that just stay with you forever,” Thomas said.

Goodridge, who graduated from private Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, Westchester County, was getting off a train with two friends when he was accidentally shot by gunfire, his coach said.

Thomas recalled the former point guard showing up to the gym for practice when he was “little one”.

Police said they had no reason to believe Goodridge was attacked by the gunman at this time.
Police said they had no reason to believe Goodridge was attacked by the gunman at this time.
Citizens

“All the coaches just overlooked him because of his size,” said Thomas. “I gave him a chance and it was probably the best chance I’ve ever had in my coaching career. I think he had the heart, he wasn’t a disappointment.

“His heart was bigger than his height. He was always reliable,” added the coach, noting that Goodridge and his sister were raised by a single mother.

“He wanted to move forward and do something with basketball, to offer something [for his family]’ Thomas said of Goodridge, who died just before starting a new job with American Eagle Outfitters.

Goodridge was a point guard with the Riverside Hawks until 2019, his former coach said.
Goodridge was a point guard with the Riverside Hawks until 2019, his former coach said.
Andre Thomas

Goodridge often posts on his long-inactive Twitter account posted of his exploits on the pitch.

“Now I’m just focused on being a great basketball player and making my mom proud,” he wrote in his last post in 2017.

His former high school in White Plains mourned his death in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

“It is with great sadness that we learned of the tragic death of alumnus Jayden Goodridge, Class of 2019,” Stepinac said. “We pray for the rest of his soul and for God’s mercy and care for his family and loved ones at this time of unimaginable sadness. Rest in peace Jayden.”

https://nypost.com/2022/11/15/nyc-shooting-victim-jayden-goodridge-remembered/ Ex-NYC basketball player Jayden Goodridge recalled ‘heart bigger than his size’

JACLYN DIAZ

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