North Babylon honors Danny Green for NBA title with Spurs

San Antonio Spurs' Danny Green, of North Babylon, is honored with a parade by the Town of Babylon on Saturday, July 26, 2014.

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Danny Green leaned against the back of his car, its trunk wide open. Inside it, was the NBA championship trophy.

After Green and the Spurs defeated the Heat to capture the title in June, the trophy traveled from San Antonio to Argentina to New Hampshire to Australia, and finally, to North Babylon.

The Larry O'Brien Trophy arrived just in time for Danny Green Jr. Day in Babylon Saturday. A parade was held to honor Green, who sat with the trophy in a BMW convertible as it drove down the very North Babylon side streets where he grew up.

Green, 27, was given the key to the town of Babylon, which had only been awarded four times previously, and was named the 18th recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from Suffolk County.

The Phelps Lane Basketball Courts were also renamed after Green, who plans to refurbish them.

"I'm very honored," Green said. "It's a humbling experience. I have all my friends and family out here following me down the street. It's very weird, growing up here and the people having a parade for me."

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Green's journey to the championship included stops ranging from the Developmental League to the NBA record books.

He starred at St. Mary's, where he was Newsday's Nassau County Player of the Year in 2005. He moved on to the University of North Carolina, where he won a national title.

After being drafted by Cleveland with the 46th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Green was waived by the Cavaliers and the Spurs during his second season. He landed with the Reno Bighorns of the D-League before re-signing with San Antonio, where he had a breakout season in 2011-12. "It's been a roller coaster, ups and downs," he said. "But it's been fun. It's a high time right now so I'll enjoy it as much as possible."

As his confidence grew, he emerged as one of the league's best outside shooters. He set a series record with 27 three-pointers during the 2013 Finals as the Spurs fell to the Heat in a seven-game heartbreaker.

But Green -- who averaged 9.1 points per game and shot 42 percent from three-point territory last season -- got redemption this summer, becoming a rare Long Islander with an NBA championship ring.

"It's that much more gratifying to win one," Green said, "especially against the team that beat us the previous year."

The Green family -- including Danny's brother, Devonte, who was Newsday's 2014 Nassau County Player of the Year -- will hold the second session of Team Green basketball camp beginning Monday at Robert Moses Middle School in North Babylon.

So what are Danny Green's goals now that he already has won a championship and had a parade thrown for him?

"Get better every year," he said. "Not just individually, but as a team, as a group, as a person, and hopefully give back more to my family and my community . . . and hopefully win another championship."

As for that championship trophy that was in his trunk, its next stop is in Brazil. But not before making an appearance at a Green family barbecue.

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