Posts Tagged ‘Florida Gators’

Greene Grinding His Way Back




HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Orien Greene lights up when talking about his high school and college glory days. He battled Miami Heat star Udonis Haslem while starring at Gainesville High and then joined forces with Haslem and fellow NBA stars David Lee and Matt Bonner during his first two college seasons playing for the hometown Florida Gators, all of them destined for long and fruitful careers on basketball’s biggest stage.

But unlike his former teammates, Greene’s path to the league has been littered with detours that he never imagined would be a part of his experience. And both Haslem and Bonner had scrap and claw their way into the league before becoming mainstays for contenders, Bonner in San Antonio.

So when Greene tells you he’s cherishing every minute of his latest attempt to make it back to the NBA, you know it’s coming from the right place.

“It’s definitely gone by in a blur. I can remember playing against Udonis in high school like it was yesterday,” Greene, 30, said of the hoops odyssey he’s been on for the better part of the last decade. “The time goes by just like that.”

Greene has had his taste of the league. The Boston Celtics selected him with the 53rd overall pick in the 2005 Draft, he finished his college career at Louisiana Lafayette, and spent his first season in the NBA as a backup point guard to Delonte West. But poor decision-making off the court cost him his spot on a young Celtics team, one that would be broken up later by the assembly of the famed Big 3 of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

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Wizards’ Beal Caps Off Summer League, Eager To Pair Up With Wall

By Drew Packham, NBA.com
 

 

LAS VEGAS – Bradley Beal was still smiling after his five games in Las Vegas, but hardly satisfied.

“It was fun and at the same time it was a learning process,” said Beal, who the Wizards took with the No. 3 pick in the 2012 Draft. “The working doesn’t stop. I always have to get better. I was happy, but I wasn’t happy with my performance.”

Beal had a solid but not spectacular Summer League, averaging 17.6 points and 4.6 rebounds while struggling at times with his shot, finishing at 41.7 percent from the floor. Beal averaged 30 minutes of action, giving the Wizards staff a long look at their shooting guard of the future.

“He’s got great composure,” coach Randy Wittman said. “You can’t tell if the kid scored 30 points or one point. He makes right decisions. He makes the extra pass if he doesn’t have it — almost sometimes too unselfish. But when you’ve got a guy with that character, a coach likes to have that.”

Wittman spoke highly of the Florida guard for his ability in the pick-and-roll and looks forward to seeing how he and point guard John Wall work together in the backcourt.

He’s not the only one.

“I think it will be great, honestly,” Beal said of playing with the Wall, who sat courtside for Tuesday’s game. “We just want to win. That’s our mentality. We want to try to make each other better every day. That’s what he wants, that’s what I want. I think our chemistry is already building. I really can’t wait to play alongside him.”

Beal showed off his ability to score in a variety of ways and seemed to improve in the pick-and-roll throughout the Wizards’ five games. Beal found success using the high screen, repeatedly knocking down the elbow jumper or continuing down the lane for the easy layup or dunk.

“I was pleasantly surprised to see him use pick and rolls,” Wittman said. “At Florida, he didn’t really play the pick-and-roll game much because he was playing small forward so we wanted to see that. I like what I saw.”

Beal says he’s looking forward to settling in to the D.C. area, and hopes to move in at least a month before training camp opens in the end of September.

“This was just a taste for him,” Wittman said. “You hope to see a guy get comfortable as the week goes on and I think he did. Now we’re going to be able to show him some things that we can work on so at camp he’ll have an idea of what to expect”