Sometimes a baseball that’s less than three inches in diameter can look like the size of a beach ball. That’s been the situation over the past few weeks for Jahsiah Greene, Newsday’s High School Athlete of the Week.
“It’s looking big,” Greene said with a big smile. “It feels good.”
Holy Trinity’s Greene, a junior centerfielder from Amityville, hit home runs in back-to-back games against St. Dominic, including a three-run walk-off shot in the Titans’ 5-2 win on April 21. He followed with a double in the final game of the series.
Though soft-spoken, Greene’s play has screamed on the field this year. Holy Trinity coach Bob Malandro said he didn’t know what to expect in Greene’s first varsity season. Now he’s the Titans’ No. 5 hitter. But it’s Greene’s character off the diamond that really impresses the coach.
“Can’t get a better kid,” Malandro said.
Reason being, Greene wants to study pre-med in college. He wants to make an impact on other people.
“I just want to help people and give me a chance to make a career for myself,” Greene said. “It makes me feel good about myself to do things for others.”
But don’t mistake his kindness for weakness. Centerfield is often played by one of the most athletic players on the field and Greene is no exception. He possesses the speed to beat out routine ground balls in the infield and creates nightmares for pitchers and catchers once on base. It’s the only way he knows how to play.
“Aggressive,” Greene said. “Batter’s box aggressive, base running aggressive, fielding aggressive. Just leave everything on the field, hit the ball hard and steal every base I can.”
Greene also knows his history and heritage. The majority of Holy Trinity players have different home and away numbers. Not Greene. He only has one number he wants to represent — No. 42 for Jackie Robinson.
“It means everything to me,” Greene said. “He broke the color barrier when he played and now I’m able to play the game and hopefully my skills take me as far as I can.”
The humble Greene directs nearly all his answers back to the team and others. When asked about his walk-off home run, Greene said he “knew it was going out once it left the bat.” But before that, his initial answer was all about the Titans.
“I just wanted to get my team the win,” he simply stated.