The Greens are hoping to make basketball championships a family affair.
After Danny Green captured his second NBA title this past season, this time with the Raptors, his father, Danny Sr., is set to coach the K/S Elite All Stars in the second Jr. NBA Global Championship at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the Disney World Resort.
The event begins on Aug. 6, with 32 boys and girls teams made up of 13 and 14-year-olds from around the world squaring off, and while the elder Green said he expects a challenge for his squad, which represents the Northeast region, he added that he’s excited at the prospect of another title run and the chance to help his players improve.
“You’ve got to approach it one step at a time and stay focused on what’s in front of you,” said Green Sr., whose son Dante is also on the team. “If you do that, one game at a time, you can continue to knock down one goal in front of you at a time.”
Green Sr. has spent years working in youth basketball, most recently with the New York Renaissance program, and credited the NBA for offering kids competitive options outside of the traditional travel leagues.
Teams will be separated into U.S. and international brackets, starting with a round-robin format before advancing to single-elimination competition and culminating in the title game on Aug. 11. Unlike other events, the Global Championship only schedules teams for two games a day, according to Green Sr., giving players and coaches the opportunity to focus on fundamentals instead of constant competition.
“Sometimes you go to these travel tournaments and kids can play four or five games in a day. To me, that’s way too much,” said Green Sr., whose son Danny was a star at North Babylon High School and St. Mary’s before making it big in the NBA. “The league has always tried to adjust itself as times go. I like the direction they’re going in and the way they’re doing this motivates kids and coaches to want to be part of it.”
In addition to games, the Global Championship also brings stars, including Dwyane Wade, Mike Conley, Brenna Stewart and Swin Cash, as well as Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, to participate in leadership development programs with players. Teams will also take a break from games on Aug. 8, to participate in an NBA Cares community service project and skills competition in the evening.
The chance to give back to the area is something Green said he was especially interested in ahead of the event, particularly after watching his son do community work throughout his career.
It’s been a whirlwind summer for the Green family, but it’s also been an opportunity to connect with the entire basketball world and this event is no different. They’re looking to add another memory to those they’ve already created and, Green Sr. said, continue to share their love of the game with those around them.
“It’s a blessing,” Green Sr. said. “It all flies by, so you do as much as you can, not just for your family, but the players and lives that you touch.”