09/09/2015 11:49 AM
In 2006, Lee Green decided to leave his 9-5 job and pursue his calling. Little did he know his wife Nichole was pregnant with their first child, Jeremiah.
He and his partner decided to hold a tryout for young kids in the Dallas area.
Two kids showed up.
Lee Green found his calling in coaching. He wants to use his influence to grow young athletes
Still, Green held camps and clinics to impart his wisdom on any young athletes that would listen. The word started to spread. His program started to grow.
Sacrifice. Hard work. It pays off.
It’s now 2015 and Green’s son Jeremiah is part of a program that has over 200 athletes in Texas, 100 in Maryland — where Green grew up — and 30 in Pennsylvania.
The success of Lee Green Basketball is centered on one question: “What happens when the basketball stops bouncing.”
Green grew up in Maryland and started playing basketball at the age of seven. He quickly progressed in the sport, and became a star at St. Maria Gorreti. His Player of the Year honor in 1999 earned him a chance to play at Allegany Junior College — alma mater to the likes of Steve Francis and more.
While at Allegany, Green became one of the most decorated players in the college’s history. His overall record was 60-8 and he helped his team to the 2001 NJCAA championship game. Green then was offered a scholarship to play at UNT in Denton, Texas. He started at point guard both years for the Mean Green, averaging 10 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds a game.
Now, when Green looks back at that time, he notices something he didn’t like.
“When I played, basketball was everything,” Green said. “Basketball became my identity.”
Green went on to play a few years in the Las Vegas semi pro leagues before moving back to Texas. It was then he decided to change his lifestyle and follow his calling.
Lee Green Basketball is a christian-base program that focuses on the full development of its young athletes.
“So many kids these days want the final result,” Green said. “They want to be in the pros without doing any of the work. Without sacrifice. We use basketball as a vehicle to get young kids to the next stage of life.”
It comes back to the question: “What happens when the basketball stops bouncing?”
According to the NCAA, 3.3% of high school athletes will play basketball in college. Of that 3.3 percent, only 1.2% will play professionally. Overall, 0.03% of high school basketball players will make it their full time job.
“So many programs focus on winning, claiming that they can get these kids to the next level,” Green said. “It develops bad basketball and bad attitudes. At Lee Green we want our kids to develop in life.”
At the same time, Green comes from a competitive background. He won on all levels of basketball, and is an athlete at heart. He wants to win. But Green will sacrifice winning in order to create an environment of personal and basketball growth for his kids.
“Most importantly, we want our kids to put God first,” he said.
Lee Green has been competing with PrimeTime Sports since 2008. His program has been to the last three National Basketball Championships, most recently in 2015 when he sent seven squads to Dallas.
“We love PrimeTime tournaments because you know what you are going to get,” he said. “They are always well organized, on-time and professional. You don’t always get that.”
From humble beginnings to a program that spans three different states in two regions, Lee Green Basketball is a great example of what grassroots basketball should be.
Parents and players have stuck with him during his growth because of his commitment to personal growth within the child, along with his expansive knowledge of the game of basketball.
“You have to ask yourself: ‘What game are you winning?’,” Green said.
“At the end of the day, we want to win at the game of life.”