A.C. all about accountability, character

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 22, 2004

If his first name initials stood for anything they would stand for accountability and character, for that is what the legendary Los Angeles Lakers forward A.C. Green is all about.

Though he has as many as three NBA Championship rings that he could wear, the only ring he chooses to display is the one that means the most to him – his wedding ring.

Friday, A tall slender yet very familiar figure walked the halls of both Demopolis High School and Demopolis Middle School greeting kids and teachers of all ages.

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As he arrived at the DMS gym, Green’s first objective was to select one of the many kids before him to play in a game of one-on-one. Many kids raised their hands in excitement at the opportunity to show their skills on the court with an NBA superstar, but there was one on the front row that was hard to miss as he raised the only arm he could to get the attention of the future Hall of Fame inductee. Green noticed a kid by the name of Artie with a cast on his arm.

“Now I’ve played one-on-one with many kids in my life time, but I have never seen a kid with one arm who thinks he can beat me,” Green said. “But I like that. That shows heart.”

The questions from the young DMS students came at him like they have many times before, and Green answered like he answered the call for the Lakers in the 1987 NBA Finals when he led his purple and gold Lakers over the boys from Bean Town in six games for the NBA Championship.

1. What kind of car do you have?

2. What size shoe do you wear?

3. Have you ever been on Cribs (the MTV show)?

4. How many championship rings do you have?

5. What was your best game you ever played?

The answers:

1. A really nice, green Jeep Ranger.

3. No, I like ribs, but I have never been on cribs.

4. Many, but the only ring I wear is my wedding ring.

5. My best game was probably in high school, where I scored 70 points in one game.

At 6’9″ he is hard to overlook. People are attacked by his size and name, but it is ultimately his character, personality and eventually his message that earns him a great deal of respect.

Green played in the NBA for over 16 seasons and was one of the few players of an era that captured the hearts and souls of basketball fans throughout the world. In life as it was in basketball, Green works hard to obtain his goal. The only difference today, is the goal.

Green is a strong believer in the youth of today and after 16 years of throwing hoops in a basket; Green now wants to throw knowledge into the minds of kids.

“Accountability and responsibility is really what I try to get across to the kids that I talk with,” Green said. “Kids need to be aware that everything you do in life, you will be accountable for.”

In an age and era where many kids see money, cars, jewelry, and even women are the keys to happiness; Green shows by example that true happiness in life isn’t measured by materialistic needs and that abstinence is possible.

Though he is truly an outstanding athlete who represented the best of the NBA, Green is an even greater role model who represents the best of the human mind, heart and soul.