Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Doubters Motivation for Green

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Doubters Motivation for Green

Article excerpt

Maybe the best thing Sidney Green could bring to his new job as

the University of North Florida men's basketball coach is the

experience of being a target of skepticism. Right from the

outset, he walks into a situation where the ground rules --

which already forced his predecessor, Rich Zvosec, to resign in

frustration -- could be setting him up for failure.

Green understands this professional challenge and accepts those

who think he's not up to it.

"All my life, I've had doubters," Green said. "I give thanks to

them because they're my motivation. Success should be judged on

not only what you accomplish, it should be judged on the

struggle that it took to get to that point."

The UNF job comes with built-in limitations. It's not for a

coach accustomed to being given everything necessary to win.

Considering how Green got here, the former NBA player might be

an ideal fit for this uniquely demanding position, which comes

equipped with the handcuffs of high academic standards and a

limited budget.

Hardship has been Green's constant companion. As the youngest

of 11 children, he grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., in a single-parent

home because his father never stuck around long enough to be any

kind of role model.

"We were on public assistance, and I'm not ashamed of it,"

Green said. "When you're an inner-city kid in that kind of

situation, people automatically doubt you. That's just the way

it is."

In ninth grade, he was cut from an AAU basketball team. Who

would have thought, three years later, that same kid would be

the New York City player of the year? Or become the first player

at UNLV to have his number retired? Or have an NBA career,

unspectacular as it was, that lasted 10 years?

Winning at UNF will require dealing with tough circumstances.

If anybody can relate to that, it's the man who, upon his

retirement from the NBA, found a way to make a living until a

head coaching opportunity came along. …

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