Draymond Green was honored by his hometown, Saginaw, Mich., this week. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
With as much as Draymond Green has meant to Michigan State's basketball program the last four years, it's easy to forget that before heading to East Lansing, Green had an even greater impact on the Saginaw High program. Last week, Saginaw honored Green at a ceremony. Hugh Bernreuter of the Saginaw News:
Green spoke less about beating the odds to become an All-American from Saginaw than he did about beating the odds to become a success story from Saginaw.
"I come back and I see you talking ‘East Side, East Side … H and R, H and R’ and talking about territory," Green said. "You’re fighting over territory, getting killed over territory that none of you own.
"My mom owns a house. My brother owns a house. They own that. I grew up on the North Side. I love the North Side to death. But putting your life in jeopardy for a piece of property you don’t own? Why? There is no explanation. It’s just stupidity."
Bernreuter also wrote about the tough love Green's mother Mary Babers showed him, which Green credits with helping him mature:
Draymond Green was all set to go to Las Vegas after his freshman year at Saginaw High School, a 15-year-old on his way to play basketball on AAU’s biggest stage in front of the top college coaches in the country.
His mom said, "No."
"The toughest thing I’ve ever done," Mary Babers said Wednesday during Draymond Green Day at Saginaw High. "But if I let him go to Vegas, what message would that send? That basketball is more important than school?
"It hurt to do it. My mom wouldn’t talk to me. My dad wouldn’t talk to me. My sister wouldn’t talk to me. It was so hard to do as a parent. It was the national tournament after his freshman year. That’s when you get your notoriety."
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