Erick Green played four seasons at Virginia Tech. He led the nation in scoring last year with an average of 25 points per game - not as easy accomplishment when every team you face is game-planning for you. Green is also a diverse scorer. He took 4.9 three-pointers per game and made them at a 38-percent clip. He shot nearly 50-percent from the field (47.5-percent) and 81-percent from the foul line -- where he was a frequent visitor with 8.3 free throw attempts per game.
Just looking at the numbers, one would venture to guess that the game comes easy for Green. That is not the case. Take this snippet from Jake Fischer's piece Emerging from the Shadows:
Green was an EA Sports All-American his senior season [in high school], averaging 16.8 points per game, but still only received scholarship offers from George Mason, James Madison, St. Joseph's and Virginia Tech.
Then, during his freshman '09-10 season, the guard was again cast aside and found himself practically glued to Tech's bench behind guards Malcolm Delaney and Dorenzo Hudson who averaged a combined 35.4 points per game. Green only played 12.6 minutes per game, having to prove himself on the court to receive more burn. He often cracked under the pressure and was visibly frustrated.
"I remember seeing tears in his eyes during games when he was on the bench," Hokies head coach James Johnson, who was an assistant on VT's staff during '09-10, told us. "He knew he was a winner and he wasn't playing well. Then he would watch guys like Malcolm score at will."
He endured the transition from the high school to college game and proved himself the following three seasons at Virginia Tech where his statistics and playing time improved each season. At just 22 years-old, Green is the same age as Nuggets guard Jordan Hamilton and is eager for his shot in the NBA. Mock drafts have him all over the place and it's anyone's guess if he'll still be on the board when the Nuggets pick at No. 27.
Green grew up in Winchester, Virginia - which is about three hours Northeast of Blacksburg, VA (where Tech is located). He studied business in college, but switched over to sociology where he can envision what he'd be doing perhaps after basketball.
"I'm trying to get into criminal justice like my father did," said Green. "[Be a] probation officer of something in law enforcement."
Green is also the oldest of five siblings.
"I'm very family oriented," said Green. "I'm like the second father in the household, my dad is not around. Everybody looks up to me and I lookout for my little sisters."
Let's get to know a little more about Erick Green with a Q&A style interview:
Nate Timmons: Julyan Stone is from Alexandria, VA, which is about an hour from Winchester. Do you know him or any other guys on the Nuggets team?
Erick Green: I know Tywon from the D.C. area - Maryland area. I don't really know anybody else, but I've watched [the Nuggets] play a lot and I like how they play."
(Tywon is of course: Tywon "Ty" Ronell Lawson.)
NT: Not necessarily guys who you mirrored your game after, but who did you admire or like watching growing up?
EG: Isiah Thomas, I really liked him growing up. Nick Van Exel, I liked him growing up. My father, he used to love watching basketball and I like taking after good point guards.
(Nick Van Exel? One of my all time favorite college (Cincy) and NBA players!)
NT: In that vein... If you were trapped on a desert island - would you rather be stuck with Shaquille O'Neal or Charles Barkley? And why?
EG: Shaquille O'Neal. I think Shaquille O'Neal's a funny dude and just me and him together we could make each other laugh and have a good time.
NT: His humor has been winning out over Charles Barkley.
EG: He's a very funny guy, I'd love to be around Shaquille O'Neal.
NT: You're on the brink of being in the NBA, once you're established what would you rather have? A shoe deal, your own videogame, or your own restaurant?
EG: I like that. I'm a shoe fanatic, so I'm going to go with a shoe deal.
NT: If you had to guess how many pairs of shoes do you own?
EG: Probably over ... easily over 150.
NT: It sounds like you have a problem?!
EG: I got a lot of shoes, my mom is killing me with it.
NT: Let's say we're on MTV Cribs and we open up your refrigerator - what would we find in there?
EG: A lot of Gatorade, a lot of protein shakes, a lot of watermelon -- I love watermelon -- a lot of fruit and a lot of ham. I like making ham sandwiches, cheese, and mayonnaise.
NT: How about on a cheat day - what could we find you pigging out on?
EG: Taco Bell. I love Taco Bell.
NT: What do you get there? The Mexican pizza?
EG: Nah, the Doritos tacos. Those things are crazy! I could eat like five or six of them.
NT: Have you tried the Cool Ranch?
EG: I just tried them! Those are my favorites.
NT: Have you been to Colorado before?
EG: This is my first time here. I love it. I didn't know there was anything around, but it's a beautiful city and there is a lot to do. I'm a fan of it, I just have to get used to the altitude.
NT: What could we find you doing on an off night or off day?
EG: I love listening to music. If my family's around I'm with them. I like going to movies or being at the beach or fishing. I love to fish.
NT: Since you said you like music, have you heard the new Kanye West album?
EG: I have, but I'm not a fan. I think J. Cole's Born Sinner is better.
NT: What's your favorite non-basketball exercise?
EG: Football. I used to play in high school.
NT: Since you're a point guard - were you a quarterback?
EG: Yes, I was a quarterback until I broke my elbow. I broke my elbow dropping back for a pass. I used to always run all the time because I was pretty quick. I used to like doing that.
NT: You're staying away from that now?
EG: Yeah, I stay away from that.
NT: I saw a picture somebody photoshopped of you on your Instagram as the Green Lantern. Where did that come from?
EG: A little kid sent it to me. It made my day. [I like] when people do that type of thing. It was a fun picture.
NT: So, who is your favorite comic character?
EG: My favortie superhero is The Flash. He can get anywhere as fast as he can and he's always on the move. I like that.
NT: Let's say Hollywood comes calling at some point during your career. Would you rather be in a comedy, action, Sci-Fi, or horror movie?
EG: Comedy. I'm a funny guy once you get to know me and I'm always joking around. I have a nice sense of humor, so I think I fit that role.
NT: Any co-stars who you'd want in your film?
EG: Definitely Kevin Hart, Mike Epps, and my man from Step Brothers Will Ferrell. I love Will Ferrell.
NT: Where will you watch the NBA draft and who will you watch it with?
EG: I'm planning on watching it in Winchester, VA at my house. With my family, my grandparents, my cousins are flying in, and just a small group of people. Hopefully hearing my name called, that'd be a dream come true.
A big thanks to Erick for taking the time to answer my questions. You can follow him on Twitter and his handle is @egreen11vt - I'm hoping that may become egreen11DN after June 27th.
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