Placentia athlete plays both ends of the floor
Placentia’s Kolton Green often hears what his opponents are saying about his goggles on the basketball court.
He wears them for protection, but it leaves him open to some selective chirping from the opposition.
“They chirp all of the time,” said Green. “They say, ‘Nice googles,’ and ‘This isn’t swimming, this is basketball.’
“It’s kind of funny, but it motivates me a bit. They’re protective.”
He hears them but he doesn’t really pay attention. He knows pretty soon they’ll be forced to set their sights on something else. “They stop focusing on the goggles when they see what we’re all about,” he said sitting in the Placentia Tim Hortons last week.
The 17-year-old offers a small chuckle and a smile when he says teams start looking at the scoreboard. “They worry more about trying to beat us than chirping us.”
The Laval Cavaliers and Green had a great start to the season when the team bested the NLBA under-15 squad 80-57 in the final of the Keith Keating Memorial Tournament, held at gymnasiums in St. John’s and Mount Pearl.
The team went undefeated in four games and Green was named the tournament’s most valuable player when the dust settled.
“It’s probably some of the best basketball we’ve played,” said Green, the son of Dennis and Wendy. “It kind of showed us how far we’ve come.”
The right-handed Green describes himself as a do-everything type of player for the Cavaliers. On the wing, he’s adept at curling off screens and attacking the basket off the dribble.
When his opponents get tired of being beaten to the rim, Green is just as good at squaring his shoulders and taking a jump shot.
“I like finding openings for other players on the team,” he said. “That’s making passes and setting screens off the ball.”
That’s only one end of the floor that Green contributes too. He also takes pride in his defence and being able to move his feet when guarding the ball.
When asked what player he tries to model his game after, Green is quick to mention NBA megastar LeBron James.
“I don’t try to be LeBron, but just the way he plays. He has a complete game,” he said. “He can score the ball and he can pass the ball better than half the people on the league.”
Of all the things he does well on the basketball court, Green said one of the best things he does is communicate.
Whether it is letting his teammates know about screens and other issues on the defensive end or imploring the team to push the ball off an opponent’s missed shot, his mouth is always going.
“Communication is the most important thing on defence,” said Green.
Green is like most athletes who hail from Placentia. He plays a multitude of sports and usually excels at them all.
From basketball and hockey to softball and soccer, Green uses the skills from each sport to aid his play.
“The footwork in soccer definitely helps with your footwork in basketball,” he noted. “I just have a love for sports.” With acumen for all things athletic, it makes sense that Green has been a part of two provincial championships this year at Laval. He was a member of the AAA male teams that won in softball and soccer.
Green and many of his teammates have been playing basketball together since they were in elementary school at St. Anne’s, coming off the bench together and now starting together. They’ve played as a group a long time.
With Laval hosting this year’s AAA male provincial tournament in the spring, the time may be now for the Cavaliers.
“It would mean a lot to us to go out winning with this group,” said Green.
“It motivates us.”
Kolton Green is a basketball player who likes to give it his all at both ends of the court.