After a sensational spring that elevated his stock and attracted scholarship offers from across the country, Jeremy Green suffered a setback that is still affecting him this summer. The 6'4" shooting guard from Austin (Tex.) Bowie High School, and a recent verbal commit for Stanford's Class of 2008, injured his wrist in May just before finishing his junior year, which ground to a halt his off-season strength program.
"I couldn't lift weights at all. I couldn't do anything," Green says. "So I wasn't eating how I usually was and wasn't taking my protein shakes, while I wasn't working out in the weight room. During that lapse, I lost seven or eight pounds."
"That's been a big part of my summer, hurting my wrist," he laments. "I was kind of out of commission for a while and kind of got out of shape. I'm trying to build back up the weight I lost. I want to surpass even where I was at before."
Previously at 190 pounds, Green weighed himself this week at 182. He can stomach that during the summer, though little pieces of his game admittedly suffer at the lower weight and strength. He says he expects to be at or close to 190 pounds again by the start of his high school senior season with the Bowie Bulldogs.
The injury, however, has not meant that Green has allowed himself to completely stagnate as a basketball player.
"I've been working out on the court and still maintaining my skill set. And I'm still pretty fit. I'm just not where I want to be right now. I want a little bit more weight on," he offers. "My wrist still hasn't healed, but after these tournaments, maybe in August, I'll start back to lifting weights."
Green's travel and playing schedule is too busy at this time of the summer to let him return to the weight room. His criss-cross itinerary has already taken him to Virginia, Southern California, Las Vegas and Houston. This week he heads to South Carolina, and then the month finishes with a pair of tournaments in Las Vegas.
While July is all about AAU basketball with his Houston Hoops team, June afforded a pair of elite camping opportunities for Green. He was invited to the NBA Players Association Top 100 camp in Charlottesville (Va.), where he famously met Miles Plumlee and catalyzed his commitment phone call to Trent Johnson. One week later, Green pulled the trigger and gave the Cardinal his own pledge while unofficially visiting The Farm.
Before he took the short flight north, the Lone Star State standout enjoyed the basketball highlight of his summer when he participated in the Kobe Bryant Skills Academy. One of four position-specific developmental camps held in June around the country by Nike, this edition invited the nation's top 20 shooting guards to Santa Anna (Calif.).
"I had so much fun at that camp," Green recalls fondly. "There were only like 17 players there - all the top shooting guards in the country. We were hanging out and working out together, so it was fun. Then we got to meet Kobe. Kobe is my favorite player. That was fun in itself."
The camp afforded several benefits to its attendees, beyond the appearance and inspiring words from the academy's namesake. Held in June, the event fell outside the evaluation period for college coaches, which means that players could perform without as much pressure and scrutiny. The focus on skill development and the small number of players also bolstered the environment of teaching.
Green is known for his offensive versatility, skill level and athleticism, though it was hard-nosed play on the other end of the court where he feels he best shined at the camp.
"I did what I have to do on offense, but really I think it was my defense," he opines. "Sometimes a lot of highly touted players, they don't really like to play defense. They are concerned about their energy for defense. I think my defense stood out at that camp."
Earlier this week, Green made his mark on the offensive end, scoring 26 points in the championship game of the Summer Showcase, a minor AAU tournament in Las Vegas run by Vision Sports, whose owner Hal Pastner is also at the helm of the Houston Hoops club. Though the competition allowed Green and his team to romp to the title game, the championship performance by the Stanford-bound guard was an impressive display of his multi-faceted scoring abilities.
Green hit 4-of-7 three-pointers, showing off his long-range marksmanship. Most of his remaining field goals came from his signature mid-range game. He shot 5-of-6 at the free throw line, including a pair of trips via "and-one" plays at the basket. Green also dunked on the head of an opponent. For good measure, he added six assists and seven rebounds.
"I still don't think that was my best game," Green maintains. "That was decent. I made a couple of mistakes, so it was an okay game."
Those statements might be misconstrued as arrogance, but Green is merely cognizant of the competition level against which he performed. His excitement was more focused on what it meant for the Houston Hoops to take home a title after a rocky AAU season this year.
"It was very nice to come out and win the tournament," Green says. "We hadn't won a tournament all summer, so that was pretty nice getting some momentum going into the home stretch of July."
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