"Center Court" with SG Jeremy Green (#45)
On April 9, 2008, a high-school
senior basketball star from Austin, Texas would have a chance to de-commit from
the Farm with the departure of Head Coach Trent Johnson to LSU. Having been recruited by other major
basketball programs such as Texas, Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona, the ability to
re-open the recruiting process might have been enticing for many. But not Jeremy Green. The sought-after high school
senior would honor his word and stick with Stanford. The reason? An accord made with another Cardinal
recruit, Jarrett Mann.
"Jarrett and I had a pact that we were going to do this together and we would stick together and tough it out at the beginning," said Green.
Good thing he stayed. As a reserve shooting guard, the Texan capital native shot over 45% from beyond the arc in the midst of getting adjusted to a new 3-point line (the NCAA moved back the 3-point line to the FIBA length of 20 feet, 9 inches for the 2008-2009 season). In averaging 6.4 points per game, Jeremy caught fire in numerous contests, including dropping 22 at Arizona, 19 at Oregon State (and almost single-handedly rescuing the Card), and 19 vs. Boise State.
Watching Jeremy practice and
play in games, it is no wonder why he was able to have the success he did as a
freshman, earning Pac-10 All-Freshman Team honors along the way. With such a quick release on his jump
shot, it is hard for defenders get a hand in his face. In addition to being able to shoot off
the dribble or come off a screen for a catch-and-shoot with equal success, Green
makes for a very tough "guard" on the perimeter for opposing wing
When asked about whether he preferred to get his shots off in a certain fashion, Jeremy reinforced what seems apparent on the court, stating that "I consider myself to be a 'shooter', so no matter what I have to do to get off my shot, I'm comfortable with that".
Perhaps surprisingly though,
Jeremy's favorite game of the previous season wasn't one in which he
was lighting it up from downtown.
Rather, it was a game in which he displayed other impressive facets of
his game- perimeter defense and rebounding.
"My favorite would have to be the Cal game when we played them at home," reminisces the current sophomore, "That was the first game I got a lot of minutes and I felt like I contributed a lot even though I didn't score many points. I was able to rebound and play well on the defensive end and we were able to get a win against a rival" (For the record, Jeremy registered 5 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals against Cal at home. His 8 rebounds led the Cardinal).
However, Green knows that he
couldn't have had the success he enjoyed if it wasn't for some helpful
hands. Working closely with
Assistant Coach Rodney Tention (who is responsible for the development of the
wings on the team), Green was able to flourish under the guidance of the highly
regarded USF graduate and former Lute Olson assistant.
"Coach Tention has helped me to improve my overall game", states Jeremy, "especially with a lot of 1-on-1 moves and being able to create space and go somewhere with a limited amount of dribbles. Coach Tention has been a lot of fun to learn from."
The son of a former professional
basketball player (his father Gerald played in New Zealand and Germany), Jeremy
had a basketball role model living in his own house, something that most
definitely helped him develop his game over the years.
"Many people say I play a lot like my father even though we played two different positions. He was an undersized power forward, but I still incorporate a lot of little things from his game, such as his shot - he was the one who taught me how to shoot-, his intensity on the court, and his toughness," says Jeremy.
But his father wasn't the only athletic influence in Jeremy's family. His mother Ayeesha was a former star long-jumper, high-jumper, and hurdler in track & field and his brother Torri Williams currently starts at strong safety for the Purdue football team, where he is a sixth-year senior and team co-captain. On the court, it seems like Green's brother especially rubbed off on him. He has an ability to change speeds and adjust the length of his stride with ease, making it recognizable that football runs in his blood. So it got this writer thinking, did Jeremy play football in the past?
"Actually I did play football in middle school and I was really good at it. I know it was middle school and all, but I did average two touchdowns per game," says a laughing Green.
Like everyone else on the team,
Jeremy made the most out of his summer by spending countless hours in the gym,
focusing on his shot and his defense.
specifically about what he worked on from June to September, Green replied,
"I worked on a lot of one-on-one moves, being able to create my own shot. One thing I also really tried to improve was my defense - that started with improving my flexibility and my ability to move my hips".
Now that summer is behind us,
the college basketball season awaits in the not-so-distant future. With practice already underway and the
first exhibition game in two weeks, Jeremy is pumped for the season and
likes what he sees from his team.
"This year I feel like we are more of a collective group in that we need everyone on the team to produce in order for us to win," the 6-4 sophomore says, "What I'm most excited about is getting everyone ready to play and we will have a lot of new faces on the court, so just watching everyone play will be great."
While Jeremy plans to be his
usual tenacious-defender, aggressive-rebounder, and accurate-shooter self on the
court, there will be one noticeable change: his number. Along with Matei Daian, Jarrett Mann,
and Elliott Bullock, Green was one of four sophomores to opt for a
different number. Green explained his
decision to multiply by nine and don "45" by saying,
" '45' was my high school number - I consider it a big start to my entire basketball career. I really came on to the scene as a sophomore in high school, and that season I had last pick of jerseys since I was in my first year on the team and wound up with '45'. It is kind of like my own identity - you don't see too many people with '45', so I feel like it's my own number." [Note: Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen was the previous Cardinal player to wear "45" and that worked out pretty well!]
When #45 isn't on the court or
in class (Jeremy is still in the process of considering a major, not having to
decide on one until the spring), Jeremy loves to flex his abilities as a
freestyle MC. "Battling" teammates
whenever the occasion calls for it, Jeremy is considered by himself and many
others as the best rapper on the team (Anthony Goods might have had something to
say about that last year!).
When asked about whether anybody on the team can give him a run for his money, "That Texas Boy" laughed and said "There's no one that can hang with me, but you'd be surprised that there are a few people on the team that can spit a few bars." [Maybe we should set up an epic battle between Jeremy and football's starting safety Austin Yancy, with the winner to match up against all-time champion Jack Laird, Class of 1940.]
In a system that runs the motion
offense, it will be important for Green to freestyle on the court as
About the Bootleg's Newest Author: Kevin Danna, Stanford '09, started out as a student manager-in-training for the Men's Basketball Team on October 14, 2005, and has lived and breathed Stanford Basketball ever since. From doing laundry to filming practice to working summer camps, he has been involved with many facets of the Men's Basketball program. Upon retirement from his manager position on March 25, 2009 at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season, Kevin took an undeservedly prolonged break from any kind of work and eventually got his degree from The Farm in Spanish. Shaking off the cobwebs of five months of laziness, Kevin has started working as a play-by-play and color broadcaster for gostanford.com, calling home contests (in English) for several Stanford sports. He also hosts a sports talk show on 90.1 FM KZSU from 9-10pm every Tuesday entitled "The Sports Zoo", as well as a music show called "408's Finest" immediately following sports talk from 10pm-Midnight. An alumnus of San Jose's Bellarmine Prep, Kevin proudly admits that he currently lives at home in San Jose with his parents and cat.
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