Green Stays Busy On, Off Court

While Jeff Green had a chance to explore Costa Rica last summer, this offseason mostly has been all about work, both on the court and in the classroom.

Green has spent a majority of the summer in three places: with USA Basketball in Las Vegas, in a local gym back in Washington, D.C. and in the classrooms at Georgetown University, where he’s taking courses toward his degree in English.

We caught up with Green in Las Vegas during USA Basketball Training Camp. He's since been named a finalist to the Men’s National Team along with teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Together, the Thunder trio, plus Head Athletic Trainer Joe Sharpe, will take part in an eight-day training camp for USA Basketball next week in New York.

Last summer you talked about your vacation to Costa Rica. Have you gone anywhere cool this summer?
“Well, our season went a lot longer, which was good. I went home for school and that’s about it.”

How has school been this summer? “School has been rough. Right now I’m taking two classes. By the end of the summer I’ll have taken five classes, so it’s been pretty good.”

What classes are you taking?
“I’m taking two social sciences courses, I took a poetry class, took a creative writing class and I’ve taken a Shakespeare class.”

Do you enjoy going back to school?
“Yeah, you’ve got to keep your mind going. You can’t let it relax. I like to learn a lot and this is a great opportunity for me to do that. There’s a lot of benefits for me in that as far as getting my degree in the end.”

How far are you away from your degree?
“Next summer I’m supposed to be done so hopefully that continues to go as planned. And it’s an English degree.”

Do you ever have time to pick up a book during the season?
“Yeah, I take a class during the first quarter of the season, pretty much online. I just keep in contact with my teacher and my girlfriend tries to give me books to read. Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn’t.”

I spoke to Duke guard Nolan Smith, who said you guys have been working out together back home, right?
“Yeah, me and Nolan grew up together. I’ve known him since I was younger so it was good to see him develop into the great player he is and I’m working with him, trying to teach him some of the stuff that’s going on in the NBA now and helping him win another championship.”

What are you trying to add to your game this summer?
“Guarding guards like Nolan. He’s helped me because he’s so quick and he’s a guard. I’m trying to do some off the ball stuff as far as dribbling and pick and rolls. I just want to expand my game.”

Contact Chris Silva