Prep Basketball: North’s Godfrey to Belmont Abbey

Published 10:59 pm Saturday, May 6, 2017

By Mike London

SPENCER —  Few players have debuted as spectacularly as North Rowan’s Aundrea Godfrey, who scored 25 points in her first game as a Cavalier.

Godfrey never topped that opening-night outburst against South Rowan the rest of her high school career, but the 5-foot-9 forward/guard has a lot of potential. Division II Belmont Abbey recognized the possibility of bright future, and Godfrey will be part of the Crusaders’ basketball program next season.

Godfrey’s father, Andre Godfrey, is well-remembered as a late-blooming North Rowan graduate who became one of the best players in Catawba history and a Hall of Famer.

“My dad always told me don’t be like him, be better than him,” Godfrey said. “That’s what want to do.”

The gene pool helps explain some of Aundrea’s basketball talent, but that’s only part of who she is. Godfrey possesses the unusual discipline that comes from being raised in a military family. Her step-father U.S. Army major Wendell Rhodes is a North track coach and one of the fitter 50-somethings on the planet as an ultra-marathon cyclist.

School work always comes first for Godfrey, who was handed guidelines to follow by her mother, Amelia. Aundrea grew up at military bases at Fort Irwin, Calif, and Fort Lee, Va., before arriving at North Rowan prior to her junior season. She came to North as a person with a solid work ethic. She enjoyed training and practicing and she also added a lot of smiles to the program.

“I’m always laughing,” Godfrey said. “I can be kind of goofy.”

Godfrey was outstanding in the Sam Moir Christmas Classic as a junior, totaling 41 points in hard-fought wins against Davie County, West Rowan and Carson. That was a very good 19-8 North team that won two playoff games for coach Brian Lytton. Godfrey ran into a shooting slump late in the season, but she averaged 7 points per game for a team led by seniors Aliyah Farmer and Special Washington.

“I was really happy with that season, winning a lot of games and getting to play with my cousin, Special,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey was expected to be a top scorer for the Cavaliers as a senior, but a meniscus tear sidelined her before the season started, and North never recovered.  North needed her scoring and rebounding, but mostly it missed her leadership. New coach Ron Bost’s club was 0-7 by the time Godfrey returned to action in the Christmas tournament, and the team never dug out of that early hole, finishing 4-18.

“Even when I was healthy enough to play, I was still a little rusty,” Godfrey said.

She showed flashes — a total of 39 points in two Central Carolina Conference games with West Davidson and a team-high 12 in a loss to East Davidson — but it was a tough year. She still displayed a lightning first step on her drives, but she didn’t finish as often as she wanted. She was Honorable Mention on the All-Rowan County team.

“I thought she played fearless and she played with a lot of tenacity,” North coach Ron Bost said.

The best thing about Godfrey is that even though her shots weren’t always dropping, she stayed nearly perfect outside the gym. The combination of a talented athlete who makes A’s in the classroom is very appealing to colleges, and Godfrey was recruited by several schools including Guilford and Greensboro College.

“The knee injury, the down season, none of those things ever deterred Aundrea from her goal of playing college basketball,” Bost said. “She kept making good grades and she got an opportunity.”

When Godfrey took a visit to Belmont Abbey back in the fall,  she knew that’s where she wanted to go to college.

“I wasn’t looking to go to a big school,”Godfrey said. “I felt comfortable at Belmont Abbey and I liked the coaches.”

Godfrey plans to major in sports management and wants to stay involved in athletics and training even after basketball ends.

She’s one of those rare people who may have a bigger career in college than she did in high school. She just has to stay healthy.

“College basketball is a business, and you have to go to work everyday,” Bost said. “Aundrea is well prepared for that kind of environment.”