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Lutheran's Devonte the latest star in Gang Green

Long Island Lutheran High School's Devonte Green poses

Long Island Lutheran High School's Devonte Green poses for a portrait after varsity boys' basketball team practice at the school on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. Credit: James Escher

The connection is long distance, just like the range on their jump shots. Brothers Danny Green and Devonte Green are nothing if not trendy. When they want to talk, they text.

"Unfortunately, that's what kids do today,'' said the boys' father, Danny Green Sr. "I'm always on Danny, 'Don't text me, call me.' But with his travel, we're up in the middle of the night texting.''

Danny Jr. is an important member of the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, for whom he set postseason records for three-point shooting in a heartbreaking loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals in 2013. Devonte attended Games 6 and 7 that year after his sophomore season at Long Island Lutheran was completed.

Last season, when the Spurs dethroned the Heat in five games, Devonte couldn't celebrate with his brother in person. "I had a Nike Top 100 camp,'' Devonte said. But of course, he texted him congratulations, just as he did Tuesday night when Danny's three-point shot late in regulation forced overtime against the Nets at Barclays Center, a game the Spurs eventually would lose.

"I texted him that I was proud of what he did,'' Devonte said. "But I had to study for a test and couldn't get to the game.''

Danny and Devonte Green are close, their father said. "Danny has a big influence on Devonte,'' Danny Green Sr. said. "They don't really see each other much during the season, with Danny being on the road, so texting is probably the best way for them to communicate.''

It is during the summer months that the brothers connect in person. They are involved with their father in the family business -- Team Green Basketball Camp -- and that's when Devonte, who is a 6-2 junior shooting guard in his second season at Lutheran after bouncing from North Babylon to Our Savior New American to St. Mary's, gets hands-on lessons from his big brother Danny, a 6-6 small forward for San Antonio in his sixth NBA season.

"Devonte isn't the shooter that Danny is, but Danny gives him tips in the summer,'' Danny Sr. said. "Danny is a great shooter. He's in an elite club in the NBA. There are not many guys in that club. So Devonte watches him.''

Devonte is trying to pick up one important trait from Danny: He wants to be more consistent with the form on his jump shot. "The truth of the matter is that Devonte and I have worked on that,'' Danny Sr. said. "We talked about getting him to shoot it the same way every time. When he does that, he's lights out. I'm surprised he's as good a shooter as he was, the way he was.''

Devonte acknowledged, "Last year, I was shooting it different ways and now I'm more consistent. I kind of changed my mechanics.''

Devonte would like to enhance his playmaking skills, too, knowing he's likely to be a point guard in college. But with four-year starting point guard Chris Atkinson still at LuHi, that has to happen more in the flow of the game than by design.

"I don't like to over-analyze that label stuff too much. A lot of it is overrated,'' Lutheran coach John Buck said. "It's not like being a quarterback versus a running back. In basketball, you're playing basketball. You have to be able to shoot, you have to be able to dribble, you have to be able to pass. The concept is to make your teammates better. Every guard should be a combo guard.''

Devonte Green, strong and quick enough to take defenders to the paint off the dribble and accurate enough to spread the floor with his three-point shot, said, "I see myself as a point guard at the next level. I'm usually on the wing here, but whoever gets it off the glass and brings it up can run the break. Chris and I work well together. As long as we talk it out on the court, we're good.''

See, Devonte can text AND talk.

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