JaMychal Green Gets Attention In New York

Playing basketball for a small 1A Alabama Catholic high school seems a universe away from the hardwood mecca of New York City's Madison Square Garden which Saturday night hosted the Jordan Brand Classic All-American game featuring 22 of the nation's premiere players. JaMychal Green navigated his way through the basketball galaxy of AAU competition and invitation-only elite camps to be selected.

JaMychal Green, a 6-8 talented, energetic power forward from Montgomery's St. Jude Educational Institute, displayed the requisite big man skills in the first three minutes of the contest as he blocked a shot, gathered a rebound, and executed a perfectly choreographed opposite handed spin move in the paint for his initial two points of the game

Excelling on the court brought high fives, pumped fists and celebration emanating from section 79 M as family members and friends from Montgomery, Detroit and Cleveland led the contingent of well-wishers. Green contributed nine points and a team tying high eight rebounds in 17 minutes of action for the Blue in its 124-114 win over the White Saturday night.

The performance no doubt pleased Alabama Basketball Coach Mark Gottfried because Green will be entering The University this fall on a Bama basketball scholarship.

Sports and entertainment celebrities in attendance included Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Vince Carter, Rudy Gay, Mya and Jadakiss. Rapper Wale headlined the musical performances while Boyz II Men performed the national anthem.

Basketball was not the only activity on the schedule for the national high school all-stars last week. Visiting New York City for the first time, Green was treated to a private reception at the legendary, luxurious Rainbow Room, high atop Rockefeller Center where the 65th floor view captured his heart. Autograph sessions, photo shoots with various magazines, and attendance at a taping of the BET network's number one rated-show, 106 & Park, provided memorable moments for Green. A personal favorite event for Green was participation in the community outreach event at PS (Public School) 307 in Brooklyn, where the athletes read to grade school youngsters, answered questions and conducted a basketball clinic.

Jimmy Dykes, ESPN college basketball analyst, believes Green presently excels at one phase of the game. "I think he is going to be a great offensive rebounder right off the bat," Dykes said. "So he's going to bring something to Mark Gottfried's team that he is ready-made to do. He's explosive." His best attribute is an intangible that every team values according to Dykes. "Maybe what I like about him the most is he's a guy that plays really hard all the time. Not every young kid–not everybody in this game tonight–does that. I think that might be one of his best strengths is he's got a great motor. Mark Gottfried's not going to have to kick start him to get him going."

Green will play a major component in the resurgent equation for Alabama along with other variables. Dykes said, "If Richard Hendrix comes back and Ron Steele comes back along with Demetrius Jemison, Alonzo Gee and Mikhail Torrance and different guys, Alabama could quickly go to the top of that SEC West and he will be a key factor for them. He has something he can do on the college level and that's climb on that offensive glass and be a defender and be a runner and finisher in transition. He's a big, big recruiting coup for Mark Gottfried."

One observation by Dykes applied to every Jordan Brand Classic all-star participant. "Everybody has something they have to get better at that played in this game tonight." He feels Green should concentrate on improving his perimeter skills facing the basket, putting the ball on the floor in traffic and his perimeter jump shot.

Named by New York Magazine as one of the Big Apple's eight most influential people in sports, Tom Konchalski, editor and publisher of High School Basketball Insider believes Green has a promising future in the SEC. "I think he'll be really good," said Konchalski.. "He's a big body. He has good hands. He runs the floor. He has a good athletic ability. He is deceptively athletic."

Listed in the program as 225 pounds, Green stated his actual weight to be 214 pounds. Although he is a physical player for his age, Konchalski recommended development of his frame to compete at the next level. "I think he's got to tone his body a little more and get in a little better shape."

Reviewing his offensive skills, the talent evaluator extraordinaire said, "I think he's got to work on his back to the basket moves somewhat but he should be a very fine player for the Crimson Tide in the SEC."

Konchalski had high praise for the leader of the Alabama program and the highly touted soon to be freshmen as he stated, "It's really important for Mark Gottfried to get the best player in the state when you're a state university. I don't know him (Green) very well but he seems to carry himself very well and he seems like a nice, humble kid and a very grounded kid. As long as he's patient with himself and doesn't have unrealistic expectations to early, I think he will be a terrific player."

Proximity to home was the reason for Green's decision to attend The University of Alabama. Enrolling in June where he is considering a business management major, his desired athletic goal is to uplift the program to prominence and "to win a national championship."

Achieving goals has become commonplace for Green, named 1A Alabama player of the year and all-metro three times. Another dream was realized this year as he was named 2008 Mr. Basketball by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. It was an honor he sought since attending the awards banquet his sophomore year. Off the court he enjoys being with his friends and chillin' with his girlfriend. He professes a strong faith in God and seeks to always be humble.

Participating against some of the finest players across the nation, Green realizes his areas of improvement must begin with his ball-handling and jump shooting. Tenacity on the court and exuding a never say die attitude is something the Alabama faithful will embrace about the shy big man. His quiet demeanor belies the powerful, thunderous dunks he takes pleasure executing on the court. Green admired players like Amarie Stoudamire and Kevin Garnett growing up because of their versatile skills and the way they dominated the game.

He is explosive around the basket and posses a rare commodity shown by a big man which he credited to his high school coach, William "Trey" Brown. "My coach always told me to sprint down the court," Green said. "Our team was a run and gun team and that's what we did all year." His defensive forte of blocking shots stems from terrific timing and quick hops.

Representing an abbreviation of his name and favorite number, he's called J-My32. Destined to wear number 32 for the crimson and white, he will have every opportunity to display his range of skills and talent for a hungry team seeking redemption. The basketball cast of Alabama's 2008-09 roster will change dramatically with the debut of the Pogo Stick-leaping power forward. Ascent at the collegiate level will be predicated on his enduring passion and dedication to the game propelling him to reach the next galaxy of achievement.

BamaMag Top Stories