UNI Basketball Star AJ Green Will Forego Eligibility, Stay in NBA Draft
The speculation can finally come to an end. Since AJ Green's dad left the UNI men's basketball coaching staff and followed T.J. Otzelberger to Iowa State, rumors have bounced around college basketball circles saying that the younger Green would follow.
Rumors no more.
The Cedar Falls native and UNI basketball star will be pursuing a career playing professional basketball in the NBA.
Prior to his final decision, the two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year had narrowed his options down to going pro and transferring to Duke University or Iowa State should he have decided to return to college basketball. After official visits to both schools, working out for a variety of teams, and participating in the NBA G-League Elite Camp, Green determined going after his childhood dream was the route he wanted to go.
In total, the fourth-leading scorer of all-time in UNI basketball history worked out for the San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, and Atlanta Hawks. He worked out with the Bucks twice.
The NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 23 on ESPN. Green is expected to either be a late second-round pick or be quickly swiped up as an undrafted free agent. He hopes to be placed on a two-way contract.
Last season, Green averaged 18.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 41 percent from the field, 38 percent from three, and 91.5 percent from the free throw line. He led the Panthers in scoring, assists, minutes played, and free throw percentage.
Throughout the NBA Draft process, Green heard a variety of input from scouts and others watching his play. This is what he told me a little over two weeks ago on Cornstalks and Sports Talk regarding what scouts said:
Basically, it's getting better and better at (shooting and making a variety of shots). ... That's going to be the best way for me to get my spot (in the NBA), and then, it's just about building from that so I can showcase I can play off the ball, too. That I can handle the ball, play off ball screens, and make plays for others. ... Being more decisive (is something) they've touched on -- some decision-making stuff. Continuing defensively to take care of little, technical things like footwork.