Born: October 19, 1966
Adrienne Goodson was born October 19, 1966 in Bayonne. She began playing basketball around the age of seven and developed great timing and anticipation as a defender and rebounder. As she approached her full height of 6 feet, Adrienne’s ability to gauge the bounce of the basketball off the rim made her a highly productive player, both in the playgrounds and in organized leagues.
Adrienne enrolled at Bayonne High School in 1980 and quickly became the Bees’ star forward. As a senior in 1983–84, she was a consensus All-American. Adrienne accepted a scholarship from Old Dominion. Her ability to play guard or forward made her a particularly appealing recruit.
Adrienne was recruited by coach Marianne Stanley, who had already led the Lady Monarchs to two national titles. She threw Adrienne right into the fire and the freshman averaged 9.5 points a game and was a ferocious rebounder. Led by Tracy Claxton and Medina Dixon, ODU won the Sun Conference title to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. They defeated Syracuse, NC State and Ohio State to reach the Final Four. The Lady Monarchs beat Northeast Louisiana in the national semifinal and Georgia in the final to finish the year 31–3. After the victory the team was invited to the White House, where they were celebrated by Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
Adrienne continue to develop as a dominant inside player. A bundle of energy, she rebounded like a power forward but shot like a guard, She was named all-conference as a junior and senior and was the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year as a senior in 1987–88. As there was no pro league in America, Adrienne took her game south to Brazil, where she won five championships in five years. She took time out in 1993 to captain Team USA at the World University Games and helped her country win a gold medal.
After the 1996 Olympics, two women’s league started in the USA, the ABL and the WNBA. Adrienne took a pay cut to leave her Brazilian team and join the ABL’s Richmond Rage. She and teammates Dawn Staley and Taj McWilliams were all named the All-ABL Team at the end of the year. Jackie Joyner Kersee was also a member of the Rage, who moved to Philadelphia the following year. Adrienne was usually good for 15 to 20 points a game, and often hauled down 10 or more boards.
In 1998, Adrienne joined the Chicago Condors. The Condors played only 8 games before the league folded in December. Adrienne was one of several star players made available to WNBA teams in a special draft, including Katie Smith, Natalie Williams, Dawn Staley and Chicago teammate Yolanda Griffith. Adrienne was selected by the Utah Starzz. She was second on the team in scoring in 1999, 2000 and 2001. In 2002, at age 35, she led the club in scoring as the Starzz went 2–12 and made it to the WNBA West finals. They we swept by the L.A. Sparks.
The Starzz moved to San Antonio and became the Silver Stars in 2003. Adrienne played two more years for the team as a starter—averaging in double figures in scoring for the sixth year in a row in the WNBA—before finishing her career with Houston and Charlotte in 2005. Adrienne ranked among the Top 10 in scoring three times and was an All-Star in 2002. Even in her 30s, remained among the league leaders in offensive rebounds—a remarkable feat for a player who stood just six feet tall. She was just the third player in women’s pro basketball to score 4,000 points and 1,500 rebounds.
After her playing career, Adrienne went right into coaching. She returned to Old Dominion as an assistant, working with the team’s guards and overseeing conditioning. She eventually ascending to women’s basketball Director of Operations. In 2013, Adrienne was inducted into the Bayonne High Hall of Fame.