Heels keeping tabs on Fla. center

Wesley Green kept checking his mail this past summer to see if it was a mistake, but the letter never came. The 6-9 1/2, 270-pound Eustis High (Fla.) big man didn't get an invite to either of the big shoe camps in July.

"A lot of kids I not only held my own against, but outplayed got invited, so I was hurt," said Green, a rising senior who is the son of former Wake Forest star Kenny Green. "So when I played (Ndudi) Ebi in the Super Showcase, I had to destroy him."

"It hurt more than anything not to get invited, but it definitely made me play harder," he said.

Green may not have destroyed Ebi, but he did put up 21 points and 14 rebounds against the much-thinner Texan who is ranked among the top five in the Class of 2003. The powerful Green also said he outplayed Mississippi State-bound forward Travis Outlaw, finishing with 25 points and 15 boards.

"I've been putting up numbers against everyone that's big time," Green added. "And for me to have that kind of success against those type of players, I think it's a statement. But no one wants to show me no love."

Green was evaluated by the UNC staff at the recent AAU Nationals in Orlando and he fared well. Green said he was offered a scholarship by the Tar Heels prior to the July period, but according to sources close to the Carolina program, that's a misunderstanding (as happens often on the recruiting circuit) and an offer has not been extended.

"They told me on the phone that I had an offer on the table," Green said. "It was three or four weeks ago, right before the Nike Camp. It blew me away."

But regardless of whether or not an offer has actually been made, North Carolina is interested to some extent -- and that interest is mutual.

"It's every kid's dream to go to Carolina. The Tar Heels. Michael Jordan and tradition. Clearly, they're in my top five."

However, the leaders at this point for Green are Florida State, South Florida and Wake Forest. Green said that Wake has backed off recently, but he's also been hearing from Marquette, Arkansas and Miami.

Green said loyalty will play a factor in his decision as it has with him choosing to play with the smaller Orlando Force and Florida Hoopsters AAU teams, rather than with the Tallahassee Wildcats.

"I could have played with Tallahassee, but I wanted to stay faithful," Green said.

Green is deceptively quick for someone his size and has tremendous passing skills, but he'd be one of the most sought-after players in the nation if he lost a few pounds and got into better condition. He said his focus is on slimming down so that he can become more agile.

Green's father, Kenny, played three seasons at Wake Forest before leaving after his junior season. He was chosen with the 12th overall pick in the 1985 draft by the Washington Bullets, one spot ahead of Karl Malone.


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