Blair Green has found a new home at Harlan County High School, and the lofty expectations that have followed her since grade school came along, too.
Green, a 6-foot-1 freshman guard/forward, has already received two Division I scholarship offers before she could attend her first day of classes as a high school student.
Despite being slowed most of the summer after undergoing surgery for torn meniscus in her right knee, Green was able to tour several college camps and received scholarship offers from both Vanderbilt and Louisville. She has another trip planned in August to Dayton.
“I couldn’t do much at the Duke camp because of my knee. I couldn’t play at Vandy either, but I went for a tour with the coaches. They talked to me and showed me the facilities. A week later they offered me a full scholarship on the phone,” Green said. “Louisville was only a one-day camp, so I was there only four hours. I was able to do some drills there and have some contact. At the end, they said the coach wanted to talk to me and (coach Jeff Walz) offered me a full scholarship.”
She also attended camps at Duke and the University of Kentucky.
Already a two-year starter at Middlesboro High School while playing both middle school and high school basketball, Green was ranked among the top 10 high school players in the region as an eighth grader by the Cats Pause, Lexington Herald Leader and Louisville Courier Journal and went on to average 20 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. She was recently picked by recruiting analyst Rick Bolus as one of the top 50 high school players in the state, the only freshman to be ranked that high.
She made the move to HCHS this summer where her mom, former Harlan all-stater Debbie Hoskins Green, accepted the job as the girls coach. Green was the former head coach at Middlesboro and won several district titles and led the Lady Jackets to the All “A” Classic state tournament. Blair’s dad, Elgie, a former Middlesboro and LMU standout, was the head coach the past 10 years at Middlesboro but resigned this summer to serve as an assistant at HCHS. Debbie Green continued to coach the middle school team at Middlesboro and was an assistant for the high school squad.
Blair Green is very familiar with the Harlan County program as a district rival at Middlesboro the past three seasons. After becoming accustomed to drawing most of the attention from opponents the past couple of years, Green welcomes the fact that she won’t be the only scoring option at HCHS.
“It won’t be all about me,” Green said. “I will try to be a good player, but I won’t have to score as many points. (Senior point guard) Bella (Noe) is a really good player. (Junior wing) Lindsay (Branson) is a scorer and (freshman center) Kaylea (Gross) is good and is going to be a great player. There are so many good players here. I will have to focus on making good passes, in addition to scoring.
“I’m really excited. We’re just getting to know each other. We’re fast and we won’t give up. I know these girls. I really did hate playing against this team. They were so physical and strong and never gave up. I was always worn out after those games.”
The recruiting process has pushed Green to improve.
“I will think about it and it hits me that I better pick it up and be ready. Everyone is good, but I want to be a standout in college,” Green said.
Green is familiar with the recruiting process with both of her parents playing college basketball. She also learned from a friend’s experiences the past four years. Bell County star Maci Morris, who will play at the University of Kentucky next season, has gone through what Green is experiencing now. Morris’ mom, the former Patti Myers, was a teammate of Debbie Hoskins Green on Harlan’s 1987 regional championship and the two current 13th Region stars have known each other since childhood.
“I want to take all my college visits, but I have to start narrowing it down, because college coaches want to know if you’re interested in them, so they can go look at someone else. I want to see what fits me best, not just basketball, but as a school,” Green said. “Maci always wanted to go to Kentucky, but I don’t really have a dream school. I really liked Vandy and their coaching staff and players. Their school is amazing. It’s beautiful, and Nashville is awesome.”
Green plays with Kentucky Premiere in the AAU circuit, the Nike 16-and-under team which is comprised of several of the state’s top sophomores and freshman.
“Maci is on the 17-under team,” Green said. “I will either stay with them next year or move up to Maci’s team. A lot of them will be graduating.”
“Blair is starting to realize that her dream of playing Division 1 basketball at a top 25 school can be a reality. She understands that she has to sacrifice social time for being in the gym and traveling to play year round,” said Debbie Green, who signed a Division I scholarship with the University of Kentucky as a high school senior before moving on to LMU for her last three seasons. “Blair is a very smart player, very versatile and makes other players around her better, and her skill level is elite, and that’s what attracts coaches. But she also realizes she has a long way to go. She’s very humble, which is what I respect the most about her.”
Green is in no hurry to make her college decision and admits she has enjoyed the process. Basketball has given her a chance to travel around the country and make friends in many different places.
“It’s been a real blessing to get to know so many different people through basketball,” she said. “It’s awesome.”