Green chases a hoop dream to LCC

08/11/2011 19:35
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Brian Davies/The Register-Guard

Springfield graduate Levi Green will play basketball for Lane Community College this year. Green, an all-league selection who also played in a state all-star series earlier this summer, joins a Titan team that is replacing its top three scorers from last year.

At the end of the day, Levi Green is more than happy to be playing basketball again next season.

After finishing his prep career at Springfield this year, Green signed his letter of intent to play basketball next season at Lane Community College in late July.

Playing for the Titans wasn’t Green’s first option as he entertained offers from Northwest Christian and Western Oregon during the school year before the University of Oregon started to show interest later in the year.

Green, a lifelong Ducks fan, eagerly met with one of Oregon’s assistant coaches, Brian Fish, about the possibility of competing as a walk-on this coming season. But after the deadline to enroll at Oregon for the fall passed, Green eventually learned that his grades in high school weren’t going to grant him admission into the UO.

“You always hear people preach about school,” Green said. “And you always have to get your grades up to go to a Division I college, and they always tell you where you’ve got to be at.

“But it doesn’t really like sink in until something like this really happens — it changes your mindset.”

With Oregon no longer in the picture, Green decided to stay local and join a Titans squad that went 13-13 a year ago and lost its top three scorers who had completed their eligibility. Coupled with a very good impression he took away from meeting fifth-year head coach Bruce Chavka, Green came away thinking he might have landed in a better situation than he originally anticipated.

“It might be a blessing in disguise for him to go and really focus on getting his schoolwork done, and be able to play there next year,” said Grant McHill, Springfield’s coach last season. “It’s also a good lesson for the kids who were below him that school really is important to focus on.

“Without your schoolwork straight you can’t play at the level you dream of.”

As a first-team all-Midwestern League selection who represented the Millers in the Oregon Athletics Coaches Association North-South All Star Series in June, Green has been able to take advantage of a football-free summer and concentrate entirely on getting into ideal basketball shape.

“So now I’ve been able to focus more on working on my basketball strength and my flexibility,” he said, “then I’ve been working on my shot and ball handling, obviously.”

And while conceding that playing for Lane might not have been Green’s first choice, McHill felt the Titans could be just what Green needs both on and off the court.

“I think any time you can play at the next level it’s going to benefit you,” McHill said. “You know, unfortunately he didn’t quite have the grades to go to Oregon, but this will be a chance for him to go play and get his academics where they need to be, and hopefully move on to the next level after that.”

On the court, Green provides an instant scoring punch for a team that lost its top three scoring threats in sophomores Kyle Warner (15.5 points per game), Mat Delaunay (11.1 ppg) and Robby Allen (10.3 ppg). For the 2010 season, Lane finished 29th out 34 teams in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges in scoring with an average of 67.9 points per contest, while shooting 43 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free-throw line.

“He can bring scoring right away for Lane,” McHill said. “He can score at any level I think, he just needs to work on his defensive play and he knows that and he’s working on that. But as a scorer, he’ll give you points right away.”

The Titans also return a pair of talented sophomore point guards in Matt Juillerat and Darrell Breazell, but at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Green hold a distinct size advantage over both.

“I just want to go and have a fun year,” Green said. “I know Lane did very well last year and I just want to continue on that and just help Lane excel and hopefully excel as a person and a student-athlete while I’m at it.”