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October 6, 2006

Family still focus for Donte Green

Small forward
6-9, 217, Baltimore Towson Catholic

Rivals.com Rankings
Rivals150 for 2007: No. 13 overall
2007 Small forwards: No. 3

Career Stats
2005-06 (Jr.) 23.3 12.0 4.6
2004-05 (Soph.) 15.7

Watch the latest highlights of Donte Green in action
1. What NBA player do you pattern your game after?
Carmelo Anthony. He's a Baltimore guy like me and we play the same position.

2. What's the best part of your game?
My will to win and my leadership.

3. What do you still need to work on?
My overall strength. I need to get stronger.

4. Who is the best player you have ever played against?
Rudy Gay.

5. What is your greatest sports moment?
Coaching my brother's 5-and-under team to a win when I was 10.

6. What is your favorite way to get ready for a game?
I lay out all of my gear before the game - piece by piece - and speak to my mother (who passed away when he was 13).

7. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hands down, I want to be in the league and giving back to those that gave to me.

When Donte Green was 10 years old, he accomplished his best sports moment. And he wasn't playing. In fact, he hadn't even played on his first organized basketball team.

Sitting next to his mother on the bench as a very young coach, Green said he helped draw up a play that enabled his 5-year-old brother's team to win its youth championship game.

"It was awesome," Green said as he recalled the moment. "I'm 10 years old and I draw up this play to free up the shooter in the corner. Greatest moment right there."

What made it great wasn't so much the shot, it was being with family. It was being with his mother. It was seeing that smile, acknowledging a pride that only a mother can show.

Bucket or not, it doesn't get any better than that.

Since then, Green has made plenty of baskets. He was the top player at the Nike All-America camp in July. He has scored point after point in front of his future head coach Jim Boeheim of Syracuse. All of those things are great, but mom's approval and pride are priceless.

Now, his mother is gone. Physically and tangibly at least. She died when Green was 13. He says he knows her smile follows him around Baltimore and will follow him to the Big East next year.

"I talk to her all the time," Green said. "She knows what's going on with me."

His mother, who played professionally in Europe without suiting up in college, is Green's foundation. Basketball is the short term future, Green said.

"My mother installed in me that if I have something good, I need to give back," Green said.

Since his mother's passing, the city of Baltimore and his Towson Catholic family have helped raise him into a fine young man.

After his college career, it is likely Green will play professionally. He is ready to give back to those that helped raise him. He is ready to give back to the youth teams that he helped coach. He is ready to give back to the game.

Those are things that would make his mother proud.

Rivals.com is unveiling its preseason Elite Team for the Class of 2007. Comprised of the nation's top high school basketball stars, the Elite Team is broken down into position-specific first, second and third teams. These stars will soon be signing with the top college basketball programs en route to the NBA. We will announce one player each weekday from Oct. 2-20.

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