Editor and Contributing Writer
Photograph: Xavier University basketball signee and Class 1A Girls’ Most Valuable Basketball Player Ya’Jaia Goudeau holds up her St. Landry Now Athlete of the Week t-shirt. (T-shirts sponsored by Tikey-T’s.) Photograph by Bobby Ardoin
Ya’Jaia Goudeau spent her final season of eligibility obtaining individual awards and playing for a Class 1A state championship. Now the 5-foot-11 North Central High graduate enters a new phase of athletic competition as she reports next week to Xavier University of Louisiana to begin her collegiate basketball career.
Goudeau who was named the 2021-22 Class 1A Most Valuable girls’ basketball player last month, was also the 5-1A MVP on a North Central team that has established a dominance presence in St. Landry Parish girls’ basketball for nearly two decades.
This week Goudeau became the St. Landry Now Athlete of The Week before she leaves for a college basketball career.
Goudeau signed in March with Xavier, a historically black private university in New Orleans. Xavier plays at the NAIA college level.
This week Goudeau sat down with St. Landry Now, while discussing her college and high school careers.The Xavier women’s team finished 21-7 last season and Goudeau said she is not sure yet just what her role will be.”I really don’t know that much about (the Xavier) program. I thought it would be a good school for me since it’s not too close or too far. I visited the campus once, liked it and chose to go there because it’s a good academic school,” said Goudeau.
Goudeau said she had a chance to play for LSU-Eunice at Division II junior college program, but she said Xavier offered a better opportunity.”I wanted to go to a four-year program, so I decided on Xavier,” she said.
Goudeau said being named the Class 1A MVP was something she didn’t expect, but playing for a state title this past season was something the NCHS girls worked for.”This year we were a pretty young team. We had a direction and that was to play for a championship. The girls on the team worked hard and they didn’t give up. The team had a bunch of players who believed and wanted to achieve,” Goudeau said.