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Jeffrey Lynn Green (born August 28, 1986) is an Americanmarker professional basketball player for the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder and a former college basketball player in the NCAA. He attended Georgetown Universitymarker until his junior year, before deciding to enter the 2007 NBA Draft. Green was selected fifth overall by the Boston Celtics, who then traded his rights to the Seattle SuperSonics in a trade including Ray Allen.

Background

Jeff Green was born in Cheverlymarker, Marylandmarker to Jeffrey Green Sr. and Felicia Akingube. He attended Northwestern High Schoolmarker in Hyattsvillemarker, Maryland, where he led the NHS Wildcats to the state basketball championship in 2004.

Green was successfully recruited by Georgetown Universitymarker coach Craig Esherick in 2003. However, Esherick was fired before Green arrived on campus (Esherick's last season as coach went 13-15). John Thompson III was hired as the new coach. Ironically, the two key recruits of Esherick's tenure, Green and center Roy Hibbert, would be the key components of Thompson's future success.

Key attributes

At 6'9" and 228 pounds, Green played forward under Coach John Thompson III. He was the captain of the squad. Thompson has stated in a Sports Illustrated interview: "You'll stop and think when I say this, but it's true: Jeff Green is the smartest player I've ever coached. You would know this better than most: that's a hell of a statement." Green has evidently mastered the Princeton offense, which Thompson learned and implemented during his tenure as player, assistant coach and then head coach of the Princeton Universitymarker basketball team.

Green was perhaps the key player in then-unranked Georgetown's monumental upset victory over top-ranked and undefeated Duke Universitymarker in 2006. Numerous quotes from teammates have attested to Green's calm yet disciplined demeanor, and his ability to focus not only himself but the other players on his team.

Green has established himself as a player who can be counted on to hit important shots at the end of close games. During the 2006-2007 season, Green hit game-winning shots in the final seconds of multiple games. The most notable of these was his game-winning shot against Vanderbilt in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament. With the Hoyas down one, Green squeezed past a double-team and hit a difficult shot with 2.5 seconds left in the game. Some observers claimed that Green traveled on the play, but the officials stated that Green's move was legal.

Green's greatest strength as a player is his versatility—he is equally effective in defense and offense, and is good under pressure. When he first enrolled at Georgetown his nickname was "The Predator" because of his long cornrow braids. This has made him an ideal asset for coach Thompson's Princeton offense, a complicated strategy involving movement and flexibility. Green's weaknesses are streaky shooting, and that he can sometimes be unselfish to a fault.

Honors

Jeff Green won the 2005 Big East Rookie of the Year award along with Rudy Gay of the University of Connecticutmarker. In addition, Green was named to the All-Big East Second Team in 2006 along with teammate Roy Hibbert. In 2007, Green and teammate Roy Hibbert were unanimous selections to the All-Big East First Team. After his 30-point performance in the 2007 Big East Tournament semi-final against Notre Damemarker and his 21-point performance in the championship against the Pittsburghmarker, Green was also named Most Outstanding Player of the 2007 Big East Tournament as the Hoyas went on to claim their first Big East title since 1989. In addition, Green was named the 2007 Big East Player of the Year. Jeff Green led the Hoyas on an impressive, relentless run to the Final Four in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, beating Belmont and Boston College in the first two rounds. Green would be remembered for beating Vanderbilt off a game-winning shot in the game's closing seconds as well as fearlessly leading the Hoyas to victory against #1 seed UNC, in a stunning second-half comeback victory and bringing the Hoyas back to their first Final Four since Patrick Ewing led them to the 1985 National Championship game. The Hoyas eventually lost to Greg Oden and the Ohio State Buckeyes, bringing the Hoyas' remarkable title run to a close, as well as Jeff Green's collegiate playing career, as he would forgo his senior year and enter the NBA Draft.

NBA

On June 28, 2007, Green was taken 5th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. He was later involved in a trade that sent veteran guard Ray Allen along with the fifth pick in the second round (#35 overall, LSU Tigers' Glen Davis) to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, the 5th overall selection and a future second-round selection to the Seattle SuperSonics. Since the deal was not made prior to the 2:00 pm deadline, the Celtics chose Green for the Sonics' with the fifth overall pick. Green wears the number 22 on the Sonics and the Thunder. Green is represented by David Falk, the agent of Michael Jordan, and is the first player to sign with Falk since John Lucas III in 2005.

Green was named to the 2008 NBA All-Rookie team along with teammate Kevin Durant. Green also played in the 2009 Rookie-Sophomore Challenge where he scored 13points and snagged 2 steals in the Sophomore's win. In 2008-09, Green is averaging 17.2 PPG, 7.0 RPG and shooting 42% from the 3-point line as an NBA Power Forward.

NBA career statistics

Regular season

2007–08
Seattle
80 52 28.2 .427 .276 .744 4.7 1.5 .6 .6 10.5
2008–09
Oklahoma City
59 59 37.3 .451 .415 .777 7.0 2.1 1.0 .5 17.2
Career
139 111 32.0 .440 .376 .760 5.7 1.7 0.8 0.5 13.3

References

  1. Heitner, Darren. "The 2007 NBA Sports Agent Draft," SportsAgentBlog.com, June 28, 2007, accessed July 1, 2007.
  2. http://www.nba.com/news/all_rookie_080513.html | 2008 All-Rookie Team


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