Mars’ 6-foot-8 center Josh Goetz (32) will continue his basketball career at the Naval Academy Preparatory School next year.
ADAMS TWP — Josh Goetz never thought his basketball career would take him to Newport, R.I. Yet it has. Goetz has gone from a relative unknown basketball commodity outside of Mars High School to a national recruit. Goetz committed to the Naval Academy Preparatory School last week. Goetz also considered the Air Force Academy prep school, but chose the Navy instead. “It was a couple of little things that helped me decide,” said the 6-foot-8 center. “One of the things was distance. I wanted my parents to see my games.” Rhode Island is much closer than Colorado Springs, the location of the Air Force prep school. Goetz also plans on studying engineering in college and the Navy was a good fit for that as well. Goetz, who averaged 12.2 points and 15.2 rebounds per game as a senior, said he is prepared for the major lifestyle change that will await him when he leaves from basic training in July. “I believe my parents raised me very well,” Goetz said. “I’ll be able to adapt and grow to any situation because of what they taught me.” Goetz is in a very good recruiting class for the Naval Academy prep school. New Castle star Shawn Anderson has also committed to Navy. So have all-state players from Florida and California, Goetz said. That’s some pretty select company for a player who a year ago was only getting a smattering of looks from Division III schools. “It’s amazing,” Goetz said. “I’m truly grateful for the opportunity I have gotten.” Goetz said he believes he has only scratched the surface on what he can do on the basketball court. Amazingly, Goetz said he is still growing. “I still think I can grow an inch or more,” Goetz said. “I know I can get stronger from working out, build some muscle. My best play is ahead of me.” Mars basketball coach Rob Carmody made the same observation. He said in March he believed the Naval prep school was the best place for Goetz to land. “His best basketball is two years from now,” Carmody said. “He’ll be 250 pounds. He’ll be more explosive. He’ll be shooting 3s.” Goetz made marked progress between his junior and senior seasons. He developed a mid-range jumper, ran the floor better and hit the boards with abandon, notching several 20-plus rebound games this season. His play quickly drew attention from many schools. “Coach (Carmody) helped me a lot,” Goetz said. “He had a lot of faith in me that I could be a Division I player.” Goetz said he is focusing now on getter even better. “It’s a Division I program,” Goetz said. “I’m going to have to bring my play up a couple of notches. I definitely have to improve, but it’s a challenge I’m ready for.”