He flies through the air with the greatest of ease – or at least he does when his knee is healthy. Fortunately for the GW men’s basketball team, Darin Green’s knee is finally healthy, and fans can once again expect to be riveted to the high-flying senior.
The Charlotte, N.C. native averaged just 10 minutes and 2.6 points a game last year. Green promises that his knee is healed, and his famed transition dunks already have rocked the Smith Center at GW’s first preseason game.
“My big thing is excitement,” Green said. “Not only do the dunks excite the crowd, but I get excited off of them, and my teammates do also.”
However, as Green puts it, his legs “were taken away ” last year. After missing the month of December, Green came back and scored just 28 points combined in the last 14 games.
“With prayer and hard work this summer, I strengthened my leg up. I played on it all summer and I feel pretty healthy. Thank God,” Green said.
Green says the injury has given him time to improve his game. He said that when the injury hit, he realized he had to find new skills beyond his jumping ability.
“The injury has enabled me to step up my game further. It has enabled me to make my game a little more rounded.”
This season Green has not only regained his legs, but also a starting spot. This allows Green to take his off-the-court leadership, which made him one of the team captains, and move it on to the court. However, the unassuming Green said it does not matter how much or when he plays.
“I really don’t get into the whole `starting thing.’ Sometimes the starting role seems to be more of a status issue. I just want to contribute, whether it be as a starter or a sixth man,” Green said.
Head coach Mike Jarvis said he realizes how important Green is to the team.
“What you see in Darin Green is a man who didn’t quit . When he’s got his fresh legs, he’s pretty good,” Jarvis said.
It is tough to get Green to tell you he is vital to GW’s aspirations to be a top-20 team.
“No one person can do it. We’re all going to have to step up,” Green said.
In fact, Green said that the team has already signed a “compact” to reach the ultimate college basketball goal.
“The first thing we have on the compact is to win the national championship, but we realize things come one step at a time.”
The Colonials are strong inside and are desperately looking for an outside shooter. If Green can establish himself as a clutch jump-shooter, GW actually may fulfill its compact.
Green said his game is not complete, particularly on the defensive end. He said he works specifically on getting into passing lanes to disrupt the opposition’s offense.
Green has a difficult task as leader of the most diverse team in the country. However, he said he enjoys the different nationalities his team features.
“I see it as a bonus,” he said. He added that the experience has opened him up to the idea of continuing his career overseas.
Green says he has several goals to complete before a professional career. One is to earn his degree in sociology, with a minor in psychology. Graduate school is not out of the question for Green. He is considering future studies in social work or sports marketing.
If GW is to win the Atlantic 10 and make a run through the NCAA Tournament, Darin Green’s defense, shooting and leadership must be just as stirring as his slam dunks.