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Green makes easy adjustment to role

January 20, 2001

Green makes easy adjustment to role



By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer


Lee Green is about to put area basketball fans into a dilemma.

Usually a College of Allegany-Hagerstown Community College matchup makes seats hard to find at the HCC athletic complex and today's 2 p.m. game should be no different.

But if those fans are just coming in to see the former St. Maria Goretti star, there isn't any rush. In fact, miss the start of the game and you'll still be there in time to see Green.

Green doesn't start. In fact, he's kind of proud of that. Still, he is a key reserve for the No. 12-ranked Trojans in their yearly drive to be the Region XX representative to the National JuCo Tournament.

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"I don't have a big ego and I'm not worried about getting a lot of playing time," Green said. "When I get into the game, I want to be a spark for the team and get in there and play defense. I just want to do anything I can to help my team win."

Winning is a huge consideration when it comes to the Allegany-HCC game. After all, nationals are the same goal HCC sets and it begins with today's game, which gives one of the schools early bragging rights.

HCC will have something to strut about if it knocks off Allegany. The Trojans have eight players who are ticketed to play for NCAA Division I schools, including Green.

Green went to Cumberland after a standout career with the Gaels. The credentials could have made him a star in most places, but not in the galaxy that was under construction at Allegany.

"It was hard at first," Green said. "I knew going up there that everyone could play and I would be coming off the bench. What made the transition easy is that it was a style a little like coach (Cokey) Robertson's, so it made it easy. Allegany and Goretti are the same. Coach Robertson said it would be a good fit."

Still, it took time for Green to fit into his role for the Trojans. For Goretti, he was the star scorer. At Allegany, he's stepped up in other parts of his game - like defense, passing and leadership.

"It's easy to find shooters, but there aren't too many defensive players out there," Green said. "If you score but give up 30 points defensively, that's not good for the team and that's not what Division I coaches are looking for. It's sure fun playing on this team because we all want to play Division I basketball and we all have the same goals."

Green has turned himself into an irreplacable piece of Allegany's puzzle.

"He usually gets in within the first five minutes of the game," Allegany coach Bob Kirk said. "If he's not in by the 15-minute mark, we get him in there quickly. He makes us a better team when he's in there."

Green is averaging just eight points through his first 17 games of playing all of Allegany's backcourt positions. He has hit 82 percent of his foul shots and has dished off 92 assists while ranking second on the Trojans with 34 steals - the aspects of the game that usually go unnoticed.

The accomplishments are easy to overlook on the Trojans, who have won 16 straight since losing their season opener on the road against Vincennes (Ind.) University. The first game was the turning point for Allegany.

"You can't win all your games, but you just can't come in and not play," Green said. "That first loss made us realize that we had to come together. Up here, you see, night in and night out, teams want to beat you. We got the name on our shoulders which makes us work hard because everyone wants to beat us."

HCC is on the top of that list. The Hawks have only fallen twice, but have displayed the kind of game which is a throwback to their hey-day of the early 1990s.

And that makes one of Green's last area appearances one that he would like to make memorable.

"I just want to play hard and I hope we win," Green said. "I really want this to be a good game ... I don't want it to be boring for the fans."

Especially if they are among the fans who choose to come late.

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