By Gwyn Chapman:
As Canada celebrates winning the NBA 2019 Championship, I met with Danny Green, one of the players who was instrumental in bringing the trophy to Canada, to speak about his passion for success, basketball, community and the characteristics that helped him to get to the top.
Caribbean Camera: We know that you’ve had impressive mentors and parenting that helped you develop your character. We see it in the way you respond to people and your work on the court; where is that coming from?
Danny Green: Start with my father. My parents split up at a young age and my dad raised me and my brothers. From there I picked up good habits. He was a teacher and big in community, that’s why I’m in the community. My coaches were perfectionist too. They pushed me hard emotionally and mentally to prepare me for the next level of basketball. The coaches were like father figures; when I was away from home they taught me a lot about life, how to do things the right way. Also growing up in college, those experiences taught me a lot too. I’ve learnt from so many relationships I’ve been around. I’ve had to grow up pretty early and fast when I was young.
CC: What were some of the most challenging times in your life as a young person and how did you deal with those experiences?
DG: The time when my parents split up; [fortunately] I was so focused on sports and school. I wanted to make it so it didn’t affect me as much. Probably the most effect was when my father was incarcerated; I was the oldest and I had to be the man of the house. He was away for two years and my brothers looked to me. I had to grow up fast. The gym was my outlet; it kept me free, my mind at ease.
CC: What do you say to young people who feel they don’t have any talent, or anything special about them?
DG: Everybody has a talent. They just have to find out what their purpose is. Regardless if you think you do or don’t, you can make something of your talent if you just work really hard at it. I wasn’t the most talented, or gifted. Nothing was given to me; I had to work for it.
CC: Can you stress the importance of education to young people?
DG: Education is very important. I did four years in college. It has taught me a lot not only about school but about life. I had to learn how to pay my bills, manage money, do my own laundry, clean, live life. There are a lot of guys in the league who only do one or two years and leave and they don’t learn how to manage their money, they don’t learn how to do things the right way. When they stop playing they go broke. Being in school teaches you to focus on the bigger picture and not on the “right now”.
CC: What are your goals after basketball?
DG: I do the basketball camps. I want to do more. I want to stay around the game; do basketball commentating or analyst for television. I’m into movies and behind the camera. I want to explore and find options and new things about myself that I find interesting.
CC: What about Danny Green are you most proud of?
DG: Just the growth. Not losing humility, not losing the competitive nature of myself. Not losing the ambition to be better and do more, not just in my career but as a person. To be a better brother, boyfriend, father when I have kids, a teammate. To do better in the community, cause like you said the kids are out future.
CC: What do you think about Toronto and the people of Toronto?
DG: I love Toronto. The people are so nice, kind, respectful. There’s an energy that you feel as soon as you get in the city. It’s a positive, lively, good energy.
#will Green stay in Toronto