By Marc Pruitt
Basketball season has been pretty good to the Goodloe family.
Justice, a senior, and his brother Mysta, a junior, are key cogs on teams with conference and state championship aspirations. Both won championships at the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic back in December.
Justice Goodloe is a four-year starter at point guard at Winston-Salem Prep, which is one of the favorites to win the NCHSAA 1-A state championship. The Phoenix won the Myers Tire Bracket of the Frank Spencer for the first Spencer title in school history.
Mysta Goodloe has become a key cog for Reynolds this season, which will square off against East Forsyth Friday night in the Central Piedmont 4-A Conference championship game. Mysta helped lead the Demons to the championship of the Pepsi bracket of the Frank Spencer while also making the all-tournament team.
“I was really happy for him since I knew they hadn’t won one even though they’ve been really close,” Mysta said. “And for me to win my first one of the same night as him made it even more special. The only thing that might have made it even better was if we would have played against each other that night. And even if they beat us, I would have still been happy for him.”
They are bothers and they are friendly rivals. They seem to genuinely care about how the other’s teams are performing. They are also ultra-competitive with each other.
“We talk junk to each other all the time, that’s just who we are,” Justice said. “It’s all in good fun. I always get the best of him because I’m the older brother. Always. We’ve played a lot of one on one games against each other and I always come out on top. Always. I’m sure he’ll probably say the same thing (laughs).”
Football was Mysta’s first love, but he always found a willing competitor in Justice for one on one basketball games.
“I don’t think he’s taught me all of his tricks, but he’s taught me a lot of them,” Mysta said. “When we go against each other, it’s always heated and always competitive. We’re always trying to beat each other. I always do (laughs).”
The competition and healthy respect between the two also helped Mysta make the decision to attend a different high school than his brother.
“He didn’t want to follow in my footsteps,” Justice said. “He wanted to blaze his own path. I respect that. Football was important to him and I think that also played a role in his decision to go to Reynolds.”
“That would have been easy for me to go to the same school, but I wanted to be my own man,” Mysta said. “I didn’t feel like I needed to follow my brother to get my name out there.”
Game nights during basketball season are typically on Tuesdays and Fridays. That makes things tough on Justice and Mysta’s parents, who rarely get the chance to see their kids play on the same night.
“Mysta didn’t get to play as much last year as he is this year, but this year, it’s a lot tougher because it’s Justice’s senior year and he plays a big part on his team, too,” Sadie Goodloe, the boys’ mother said. “We want to see all that we can, so we juggle as best as we can. Usually, my husband will go to one game and I’ll go to the other. If there is a big game for one of them, or we know that one game won’t be as competitive as the other, we’ll both go to the same game.”
“When they do split up, they keep each other updated on scores and stuff during games,” Justice said. “If my mom is at my game, my dad will already know everything that happened in it by the time I get home.”
On December 28th, both mom and dad were at Joel Coliseum to see both their kids win championships in a span of four hours during back-to-back games.
“That was a huge night,” Sadie Goodloe said. “What was nice about it was that we both got to see all their games those three days. And for both of them to win, that was a very proud moment for us. During the tournament, they encouraged one another. Since they knew they were playing in different brackets, they wanted each other’s teams to win. They got a chance to see each other play and gave each other scouting reports. That’s a nice memory we’ll always have. But there is maybe a small sense of regret that we don’t have them on the same team so that we could see them play at least one year together. That would have been even better had they won one together.”
Sadie Goodloe is also appreciative that her children have the chance to attend the school of their choice.
“One of the things we like about the Winston-Salem Forsyth County schools is that they give you the option to choose based on what you thought your kid needed,” she said. “From a comprehensive perspective of classroom size and what they were offering, not just for sports, Reynolds was the best fit for Mysta and Prep was the best fit for Justice.”
Neither Justice nor Mysta could remember a time when they have played on the same organized team together. There has also never been a time where the two of them have played against each other in high school.
“That might be an entire new kind of torture for us if it ever happened,” Sadie Goodloe said with a laugh. “They talk trash to each other all the time at home because it’s the older brother versus younger brother thing that goes on. So, if that ever happened on the court, just imagine how much we’d be hearing at home that day.”
Justice has been impressed with Mysta’s development as a player this season.
“He can do just about everything and hurt you in a number of ways,” Justice said. “Now, since he’s gotten taller, his arms are a lot longer. When I play against him, I have to get used to his size now. And doing that helps me defend other players in games, especially quicker guards who may be taller than me. For me, the best thing about basketball is the competition and the comradery. And not only do I have that with my team, I have that with my brother. That’s pretty special.”
Mysta Goodloe appreciates all his brother has done to guide him as basketball comes more into focus.
“He’s played a pretty huge role,” Mysta said. “He’s an underrated point guard, a true point guard. Just seeing the way he thinks and plays the game. I’ve always looked up to that. He’s always been such a good defensive player. That made me change some of things I do along the way.”
Mysta is still pondering his future in football. He sat out this season after breaking his collarbone late during his sophomore season.
“We’ll see what happens with football,” Mysta said. “Right now, basketball is my main focus. I put most of my time into basketball now.”
Justice still hopes to play basketball in college. James Madison and Gardner-Webb have expressed interested. His main goal is to see Prep win the 1-A state title that has eluded the team the last three seasons.
“I definitely think winning the Spencer title motivated us for the rest of the season,” Justice said. “Our aim is to always win the state title and we’ve been so close the last few years. I think this is our time, though.”