Sept. 14, 2012
By: Evan Roberts, Auburn Media Relations
For Auburn incoming freshman Brian Greene Jr., basketball has always been his first love. Although he grew up playing football and basketball, Greene followed in his sister's, Delisa Greene, footsteps and decided to play basketball not only in high school, but in a college as well.
"I started playing at a really young age around fourth grade," Greene said. "My sister played in high school at Washington High in Chicago and in college at Robert Morris. She was pretty good, so I would go to the gym with her every chance I could to improve my game. I love coming to practice."
After his senior year in high school where he was named to the first-team All-Area and Team MVP, Greene decided to spend a year at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Greene carried IMG to a 37-2 record after averaging 15.5 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists per game, but the Chicago, Ill., native saw his biggest improvement come off the court. "My year at IMG was incredible," Greene claimed. "It helped me mature on and off the court. I became a man and a more independent person. I was able to get away from mom and dad and away from the family which really helped out."
Greene's improvement last season caught the eye of several Div. I coaches, but ultimately chose Auburn because of his relationships with Coach Tony Barbee and his staff.
"I really enjoy the coaches here," Greene said. "It is a great environment. I have a great opportunity to prove myself. Coach Barbee's system is perfect for me. It is fast and up tempo that allows you to use your athleticism and get past your defender." During summer workouts, Greene's hard work and determination solidified Barbee's belief in Greene after he stayed in the gym, trying to perfect his game.
"I think probably the surprise of the newcomers who have been in practice this summer has been Brian Greene," Barbee said. "He has really stood out as a guy who has an unbelievable work ethic. He stays in the gym. He loves it. He is a gym rat. He is every coach's kind of dream. He will give us great depth at that point guard position with great size and great athleticism at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds a guy who is as fast as Josh Wallace, jumps like Shaquille Johnson and has the ability to score and run the team from the point guard position."
Greene has already gained as much knowledge as he can from fellow point guard and senior walk-on Josh Wallace, who played in all 31 games last season.
"Josh is doing a really nice job helping me out and showing me the ropes," said Greene. "Josh is a really mature and a good vocal leader. That is one thing that I need to work on is being more vocal. At this level, you need to talk."
As one of only two true point guards on the team, Greene hopes to get a lot of playing time, and if he does, he knows he will be ready for the spotlight.
"I won't be nervous," Greene said. "It is basketball no matter what. Obviously you are going to get nervous in your first collegiate game. I remember my first ever varsity practice in high school, and I was nervous, but once you get into the flow, it is just basketball and those nerves go away. I just want to win games and championships. I didn't come here to be average and finish in the middle of the pack in the SEC. We are trying to win it, and see where that takes us."
Greene was recently named to Jon Rothstein of the CBS Sports Network's "20 under the radar freshman for the 2012-13 college basketball season."