FORT WAYNE – Tiffany Gooden’s role in athletics has changed over the years, but not her passion.
The former Snider girls basketball standout and 1994 Indiana Miss Basketball is still involved in Fort Wayne sports, but now her work is off the court.
Gooden will present the award named in her honor – The Journal Gazette’s Tiffany Gooden Award, which annually goes out to the top basketball player in the SAC – at tonight’s Basketball Awards program.
The event that honors the All-Northeast Indiana and All-SAC boys and girls teams, as well, is sponsored by SportONE Ortho Northeast and The Journal Gazette.
Gooden has a hand in selecting the award winner. She attends several high school boys and girls games and knows the talent level of Fort Wayne and beyond.
The positive exposure of basketball in the city has been increasing the last few years, she said. You have the dominance of (girls state champions) Concordia and Canterbury, the turnaround of the boys program at Northrop under Barak Coolman with the Scott twins (Bryson and Brenton) and a Miss Basketball this year from Norwell (Jessica Rupright). I think we might have a candidate or two for Mr. Basketball next year.
The talent level in this area is definitely solid.
Gooden is a co-founder of the law firm Hall & Gooden LLP in the city and is serving a term as the president of the Fort Wayne Sports Corp.
We are working on a lot of exciting things, said Gooden, who was a vice president of the organization. We have several new initiatives.
My efforts (with the Sports Corp) are volunteer, and it is not something I have to do. But they are things I am very passionate about, and I do want to give back to the community which I have a lot of pride in.