For Harlem High School senior David Green, basketball is just mind over matter.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Green doesn't mind that he's only 5-foot-6, because when he steps on the court for the Bulldogs, he knows size doesn't matter.
"I really don't let my physical ability interfere with my mental ability," he said. "When I'm physically worn down, my mental ability takes over, just the fact I have to get the job done and I want to win, compared to thinking I can't win and can't get it done."
Green got it done at point guard last season, leading the Dogs to the top of the region standings. But when Green suffered a dislocated shoulder and was sidelined, Harlem went into a mini-tailspin.
"What I called him was the glue to our team," Harlem coach Kim Chambers said. "When he went out, our team became unglued."
Despite severe pain, Green returned to action and played the final three games of the season, as Harlem advanced to the state playoffs for the first time in nearly three decades.
"That was a great turning point," Green said. "We finally came together as a team and started a new beginning."
After undergoing shoulder surgery in June, Green began preparing for his senior season.
Green appears to be good as new. In Harlem's opening game last week, he recorded 11 steals and poured in 28 points to lead the Dogs to victory. Green followed up that performance with 20 points in the second game.
"He's the playmaker," Chambers says. "We can use him as a one-man press against the other team. His defense creates scoring opportunities, not only for himself but for other players."
Ball-handling skills and speed are Green's forte, but he sees other keys to playing his part at point guard.
"My role would probably be 'the floor general,' more of a defensive player than offensive player," he says. "To set a good example for the rest of my team and for the younger players. Just to be the team leader."
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