What a great story. Two kids (one from Derry and the other from Londonderry) who are best friends and grew up playing basketball together have both accepted Division I offers. First it was Geo Baker committing to Rutgers and now Caleb Green of Londonderry has accepted an offer from Holy Cross.
It's rare for a kid from NH to get a D-I basketball scholarship. It's even more rare for it to be a point guard. Well, NH has just produced two D-I point guards from the same class - from the next town over from each other - with their commitments coming less than two weeks apart. Both Green and Baker will be seniors this year at Proctor Academy.
"I called the Holy Cross coaches on Friday night to let them know about my decision" Green told the NH Notebook. "Their new coaching staff is bringing a change of culture there. I hope to go in there, help them succeed and make it a basketball school. I'm excited and so is their coach."
According to Green, he was offered a basketball scholarship by Stony Brook, New Hampshire, Holy Cross, Brown, Fairfield, Loyola and Lafayette.
"Stony Brook, Holy Cross and Lafayette showed the more interest in me" said Green. "They were all at 95% of my AAU games during the live period. What separated Holy Cross to me was when they were recruiting me coach Carmody showed me how when he was the coach at Northwestern their team's point guard led them in scoring 7 out of 10 years and his point guards averaged 35-38 minutes per game. That's what I want - to go somewhere I can play a lot. Plus I'm a point guard who can score. Their coaches are where the best fit is for me."
Holy Cross (led by first-year head coach Bill Carmody) not only made it to the NCAA tournament last year by winning the Patriot League - they also won an NCAA tournament game as well. Carmody has been named the best offensive coach in the nation by Sports Illustrated.
"I had a game that night, but I did see half of their NCAA tournament win on TV" said Green. "They offered me last fall. Holy Cross is also renovating their arena and building a brand new athletic facility."
Green is one of the best point guards to come out of NH in a long time. The 5-foot-10 floor general is always in attack mode - keeping pressure on the defense, driving, kicking to an open man or scoring over bigger defenders. He can hit threes off the dribble or the catch, plays a fast-up-tempo game and has a tight handle. He plays AAU for the DC Blue Devils, coached by TJ Thompson. I actually just re-watched the Blue Devils NH AAU State Tournament championship game win over the Longhorns from this past spring (yes, that's what I do on a Friday night) - Green was simply unconscious in that game, including a spurt at the end of the 1st half where he buries for long range bombs in a row.
"I give pretty much all the credit to TJ" said Green, who has had Thompson as a coach and trainer for the past few years. Without him I'd be a D-III player. He didn't have to do all that he did for me, but all of those 1-on-1 sessions got me to where I am today."
With the training of Thompson and a ton of hard work, Green and Baker have become two of the most highly recruited point guards in the country - and now are officially D-I recruits.
"It's crazy to see how far we've come - Geo, me and Chef (Tshiefu Ngalakulondi) too" said Green. "People would say how Geo was only 5'5" in 8th grade, how we were too short and wouldn't be any good. We have shown people that NH can play with the best. It doesn't matter where you're from, as long as you put the work in."