Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Green develops as leader, athlete

As Alabama’s head basketball coach Anthony Grant enters his second season with the Crimson Tide. He brought along a number of young recruits, which means a young group of athletes on the team.

There are only two returning starters who are upperclassmen, meaning those athletes’ leadership is mandatory for the team to have any kind of success this year. One of the returning starters is junior forward JaMychal Green.

“I think the biggest improvement with JaMychal was from a maturity standpoint,” Grant said. “JaMychal’s gotten better in terms of the work he’s put in as a basketball player. His poise, his patience. I think he’s been around the block, so to speak, and understands how to be affective in this league. Anytime you have someone as experienced as he is, certainly we would want to see him step up and take on this leadership role. I think he’s shown a willingness to do that this year.”

Last season, Green averaged 7.2 rebounds and 14.1 points per game. He finished ninth in the SEC in rebounding and 17th in scoring. Green recorded six double-doubles during last season. He also recorded his 13th double-double of his career making him third in career double-doubles among active SEC players.

However, for Green to earn the respect of his teammates as a leader and as a returning starter, he needed to put in extra in the off-season and develop into a more mature athlete, as Grant addressed before.

“I think JaMychal certainly spent time in the weight room and added some weight to his frame,” Grant said. “Green’s conditioning will help him take on the physicality that he’ll face over the course of the season. But I also think he spent some good time in the gym working on his skills and working on expanding his game.”

While improving on the court was Green’s main focus in becoming a leader, he has also worked on helping the younger players prepare for their first season playing for Alabama.

“JaMychal, he’s one of the guys who was helping me from day one,” said freshman guard Trevor Releford. “He was giving me points telling me you just got to keep working hard in the summer so when the season comes, so when the season starts, you’ll be able to lead us. [As a leader,] JaMychal doesn’t just show you how to do it, but he tells you too. If the job’s not getting done, he’ll let you know.”

As a sophomore, Green earned Alabama’s “Hustle Award” for post players. In 10 of the last 11 games in 2009-10 season, Green scored in double figures.

“I’m trying to expand my game and just keep my attitude from not getting so frustrated,” Green said. “I’ve worked on playing through adversity. I just want to change, just want to win, get our chance to go to the SEC Championship, bring something new to Alabama basketball.”

Green’s determination to have a winning season this year was also something else that Releford noticed once he came to Alabama. Releford recognized it was Green’s desire for the team to be successful that helped him come out of his shell and be a more vocal leader.

“He just tells you how to play better because he wants to win too,” Releford said. “[Being a leader] is one of the things that J-Mike said he wanted to work on this year. Because last year he was really quiet and this year he’s stepping up for the team and making sure everybody is giving their best effort.”

Green’s positive attitude and determination is starting to rub off on his teammates. A lot of them, including the returning players, have noticed how much energy he’s put into getting better in the offseason making them want to improve too.

“I’ve been watching him all this summer putting in the work,” said sophomore forward Tony Mitchell. “He can be very emotional sometimes. He’s a good leader on and off the court. He gives us pep talks and tells us let’s go. Get ready, let’s go. His energy is what he brings to the team. We just feed off him. He has more range with what he does on the court right now.”

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