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February 26, 2016

David Goldman, Riverdale ’17/University of Pennsylvania

David Goldman, Riverdale ’17/University of Pennsylvania

David Goldman
Riverdale Country School, 2017
Residence:  Upper East Side, Manhattan
Years in Mo’ Motion:  6
College:  University of Pennsylvania ’22
Favorite Basketball Player of All-Time: Stephen Curry

A NOTE FROM MO: Before getting to all of David’s accomplishments and his outstanding work ethic, I’d like to thank David’s mom, Jill. Jill saw me working with David within a group on skills and she noticed how focused I was on skills and details. Jill then put together a group of boys and parent in 2009 and their parents agreed to go along with my idea of putting our Mo’ Motion team into a new league I wanted to form called the Gotham Basketball Association. 

David Goldman who played with us from grades 4-9, proved four summers ago that he was more than serious about improving his hoops game. At the end of his grade 7 school year, I mapped out an excel sheet with columns for time spent in several areas (reps, conditioning, injury prevention, game time, and more). At the end of every day, no matter what camp or court he was on, David entered all of his work as did a handful of Mo’ Motion players. By the end of the summer, David did not meet the goal of 250 hours – he was closer to 270 hours. David stopped by camp at the end of the summer and beat our head coach in a game of one-on-one. Why did he do this with such ease?

David embraced discomfort. After working hard to pass the physical fitness requirements (including this odd long jump test), David made JV as an 8th grader. As a freshman, he made varsity. David also traveled us to Spain and Italy where he was an all-star and a finalist in the three-point competition. David is one of the (if not the) hardest-working players who has participated in our program. This assessment is based on his effort and intensity level in every drill and his ability to self-regulate, practice and train when no one else is watching or making him train. (His favorite quote proves this to be true.) David also regularly works on his core, strength, flexibility and ball-handling skills even when a hoop is not available to him.

David is a junior at Riverdale. He just finished the season as the leading scorer and one of the most skilled players in the league. His summer plans include attending a range of camps and a consistent log of training as he pursues his hoop and academic dreams. 

On a final note, I’d like to let everyone know that I don’t read the answers to the Q&A until right before we publish. I’m sure several coaches did their part, yet I will take some credit for teaching David the importance of consistent, self-regulated skill work and mechanics. I’d also like to take credit for teaching him Laundry 101 in northern Spain.

When did you know that basketball was your favorite sport?

In 7th grade, I knew hoops would be my focus. Until then, I played baseball year round as well, but realized in 7th grade that to be good in basketball, I had to devote all of my time and efforts to it.
Why is it your favorite sport?

It’s a great team sport. It’s physical, requires good hand-eye coordination, and an understanding of teamwork. The more you practice and train, the better you get. Some of my closest friends are friends I met on the basketball court.

What is your favorite thing to do on the basketball court?

I am a shooting guard. I love to shoot the ball, if it’s the right shot for me and for the team.
Who is the person/persons who influenced you the most in your basketball career?
Maureen Holohan. From age seven, she’s worked with me. She’s taught me defense, spacing, teamwork, and is always focused on my shooting form (from my release point to elbow position to squaring to the basket). She’s made me the player I am today.

What are your short or long term goals as a basketball player?

My short-term goal is to help my high school team, Riverdale Country School, win the league championship. My longer-term goal is to play basketball in college, either at a DI school or a high academic DIII school.

What are you short or long term goals as a student?

My short and long-term academic goals are the same: stay focused, work hard, put in maximum effort, and get the best grades I can.

Any ideas on what you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to pursue a career in either finance or sports management.

Can you recall and describe your first day at Mo’ Motion?

It was years ago. I was in Maureen’s first class of athletes, so I guess I was in third grade or so. She took one look at my shooting form and told me that I could be a good shooter but I had to work on my technique and form. She spent what seemed like an hour explaining to me the importance of elbow position, square shoulders, and release point. Not much has changed since then.

What is your favorite Mo’ Motion memory?

Two summers ago, Maureen took a group of us to play hoop in Italy and Spain for two weeks. It was a blast. We played with local AAU-type teams, and really loved the competition and friendships that developed. Even though we didn’t speak same language, we bonded over our love of basketball, and really had a great time hanging with them. I also loved exploring Barcelona on a Segway, and touring Barcelona’s soccer stadium. It was a great trip.
If you were to describe Mo to someone, what would you say? She cares more than anyone I know about hoops. She is tough-minded and a disciplinarian. She really wants to see her kids improve as people and athletes.

If you were to describe Mo’ Motion to someone in five words or less, what would you say?

Passionate. Dedicated. Enthusiastic. Loyal. Disciplined.

Do you do injury prevention or mobility training exercises regularly?

I do cardio and stretching most every day. I also lift weights and, when my schedule allows, I do yoga to improve flexibility.

What do you think is the most important skill an athlete can have?

Mental toughness and discipline.

What is your favorite quote about sports and/or life?  

“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” -Derek Jeter

Photos below are by Mo’ Motion and David Kenas of David Kenas Photography (

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