NBA Legend Shares his Story with Coolanu Campers
by Judy Horwitz
NBA legend Sidney Green made a guest appearance at the Coolanu Israel Chicago Camps, delighting campers and coaches alike. Green spoke to a rapt audience about the days leading up to his NBA career and the 10 years he spent playing in the League with and against other NBA greats like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Green imparted important lessons about overcoming adversity to achieve his dream of playing pro-ball, not caving to negative peer pressure, not holding grudges, and showing respect to others. While Green’s talk was punctuated with entertaining personal anecdotes, his heartfelt messages resonated with campers.
For example, Green recalled the negative influenes that swirled around him as a kid, attempting to prevent him from realizing his goals. However, because he always had his sights on playing in the NBA and dedicated himself completely to turning his dream into a reality, he made a deliberate decision not to let the negativity bring him down. After he made it to the NBA, rather than eschew those people who tried to hinder his success, he chose not to hold a grudge against them and instead endeavored to be a positive influence—even giving them tickets to games! Green also role modeled the importance of showing respect and gratitude to others. Throughout his talk he spoke highly of his mother and her commitment to helping him succeed in life, and by weaving her advice into many of his stories, campers had the chance to learn from her wisdom too.
Before returning to his current job as head of player development for the Chicago Bulls, Green patiently and thoroughly answered each camper’s questions. Green’s winning visit was topped off by gifts for the campers from the Chicago Bulls. Tamir Goodman, head coach of Coolanu, remarked that “Coach Green made each camper feel so special. His visit was an unforgettable experience for everyone.” Goodman also expressed thanks to Hillary Thomas from the Bulls’ community relations department for her help in arranging Green’s visit to camp.