3-Point and Slam Dunk competitions from the Beach Ball Classic
Michael Green had scholarship offers from Division I programs UNC Greensboro and USC Upstate, but he turned them down.
He had reasons on both ends of the student-athlete spectrum.
Instead, Green has committed to walk onto the South Carolina basketball team for the opportunity to play hoops at the top collegiate level while also entering college at an advanced academic level.
“I just felt it was a good fit. I could fit in well there academically, athletically and socially, too,” Green said. “Just being given this opportunity is real exciting.”
The 6-foot-3 guard from Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach plans to enroll at USC for early summer classes that begin on June 3, which is just four days after his high school graduation, and he’ll begin the Gamecocks’ strength and conditioning program.
“One of the things I really wanted to do was push myself to try to play against the best. I’ve always loved trying to compete against the best,” said Green, who played against Duke freshman Zion Williamson in high school playoff games and many of the other top high school players in the country on the summer AAU circuit.
“I felt like getting the opportunity to play in the SEC, I wouldn’t say it would be a waste if I didn’t at least try it, but I feel if I didn’t at least give it the chance I would have thought about it for a long time.”
Green will major in exercise science and plans to pursue a graduate degree at USC with athletic eligibility remaining.
Over the past two high school years, Green took college classes at Horry-Georgetown Technical College through the Program for Accelerated College Enrollment (PACE) program and also took AP Calculus classes that he said will count as credit hours at USC. He said many schools wouldn’t accept the accumulated college hours.
“The biggest reason was academically I could go in as a sophomore and be on pace to graduate in two and a half years,’ Green said. “That’s the biggest thing because all my credit hours from my dual enrollment classes at the technical college transfer over.”
The three-point sniper, who had inquiries from Ivy League schools, said his tuition is reasonable as an in-state student and a lot of it will be covered by academic scholarships.
“There’s no athletic money yet, but definitely if I come in and do my job hopefully that should take care of itself,” Green said.
Green’s conversations with Frank Martin and his staff have him optimistic that he’ll be able to play as a true freshman. The Gamecocks shot 36.6 percent on three-point attempts this past season.
“They think next year I can play some timely minutes with my ability to stretch the floor and knock down shots,” Green said. “So now I just have to go in and put the work in.”
Green scored 2,495 points in five years on the Christian Academy varsity while also amassing 610 rebounds and 574 assists in his prep career, and had a career-high 51 points in a game this past season.
He made 120 three-point field goals as a senior and led the nation in three-point field goal percentage at better than 54 percent among the more than 500 high school players who made at least 75 treys this past season, according to the MaxPreps website.
Green didn’t play the best competition in the South Carolina Independent Schools Association (SCISA), but he spent the past five summers playing in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League for either Team CP3 of North Carolina, the Southern Stampede of Atlanta or the Georgia Stars.
He is part of USC coach Frank Martin’s 2019 class that includes Hartsville point guard Trae Hannibal, who scored 62 points in his final high school game, 6-8 power forward Jalyn McCreary of Greenville’s Legacy Charter School, wing Trey Anderson of California and forward Wildens Leveque of Massachusetts.
McCreary took the final scholarship available to the class after 7-foot center Jason Cudd of Myrtle Beach surrendered a scholarship to transfer from USC.
Hannibal was excited to learn Green was joining his Gamecocks signing class.
“Mike can score at all three levels,” Hannibal told The State on Tuesday. “It’s scary because when he passes half-court, you don’t know if he’s gonna pull it or if he’s gonna go to the basket. But the thing with Mike is he’s not a selfish player. He’s an all-around player. And of course, he’s a great teammate. So playing with guys like that, it’s only going to make the guys around him better. All of us on the same team is really going to be something special.”