Stanford's Green Finding His Stride
By Alyssa Green
Jeremy Jamal Green has come a long way from Austin, Texas. Green grew up with the dream to follow his father's basketball footsteps and play on scholarship at a Division-I institution. Before Stanford was but a mere glimmer in his eye, he worked out with his father and personal trainer to solidify his game and gain strength. In 2008, Green committed to Stanford with close friend Jarrett Mann.
Green, now a junior, grew as an athlete his freshman year. "When I got here I was not satisfied or complacent with just being on the team. I actually wanted to contribute," Green said.
Head coach Johnny Dawkins gave him the opportunity by putting him out on the court and giving him a significant amount of playing time his freshman year. Playing alongside Anthony Good, a senior Green's freshman year, forced Green to improve, he said.
His self-defined best shot on the court is "anywhere." Confident in his game, Green said confidently, "My role on the team is to score." He takes what the defense gives him and doesn't have a personal quota of shots need to be taken per game. Green said he makes working hard a habit by making sure he is in rhythm.
Green recently suffered a six-game slump and as a result, the Cardinal were on a losing streak. The coaches remained confident in Green, telling him to keep shooting. "During that time I was putting too much pressure on myself to score. One of the main things on my mind was that I have to provide that for my team given that we have a young team, but that was the wrong way to handle things. Just from talking to my coaches and my father they just told me really to relax and go out there and play my game and focus on doing the other things before thinking about shooting."
Green was awarded the position of captain by his coaches and teammates. "Everybody loves me on my team," he said. "That is why I am captain."
Finding his shot, Green has risen from his slump, scoring and pulling through for his team. On the February 17 game against the UCLA Bruins, Green tallied a game-high and season-high 27 points. "We are right there. We let a couple get away from us as of late, but we are not out of anything," he said.
Green is looking forward to the conference tournament and finishing the season strong. "Small plays separate teams. [The tournament] being at a neutral site, it will be interesting to see how everyone fairs."
Green has dealt with ups and downs throughout his basketball career at Stanford, and he has dealt with adversity not just by turning to basketball but also through his spiritual life. "Everything happens for a reason and God doesn't put you through anything you can't handle, so I've just taken what has come my way and dealt with it," he said. "Looking at it now, I'm a better person for going through these things."
This year, Green has had struggles with his heath. After a win over DePaul on November 28, Green collapsed on his home court. Stanford and Green attribute it to the stomach flu. "Right now I am healthy and I don't feel that it has impacted my game in any way," Green said.
Being at Stanford has helped Green grow, not only on the court but as a person. "I feel like it has forced me to become more independent and really a better man, not just a person. Just being out here by myself, I've had to develop new friends and relationships. Figure things out for myself, whether that is bad things or good things but I've enjoyed it. I don't regret anything and I think it's one of the best decisions of my life coming here."
Green is motivated to continue improving as a player. "I will continue to watch film, talk to my coaches and ask them what they see. Just get in the gym," he said. "I know I have a lot to improve on as far as rebounding, defense, and ball handling. My shot could be more consistent."
Stanford's star guard is a strong presence on the court and a leader for his teammates. Green has had to grow fast at Stanford, both on and off the court. "I'm a work in progress, but I'm striving to get better. I'm not where I want to be, but hopefully I'll be there soon."