A quick look at Josh Green’s social media accounts reveal just how deep the love runs for the women in his family.
There’s the picture of him carrying his little sister, Maya, in his arms outside a basketball arena. Then there are images of Green sitting next to his loving mom the night the Dallas Mavericks made the 6-6 Australian the 18th overall pick of the November draft. The 210-pound guard/forward went on to start in three of his first 14 games in the NBA, but all of that is just the highlight reel.
All of the pictures tell a story, but none more than the words Green speaks about the leading ladies in his life. He says their love and support is a constant source of inspiration and the duo continually pushes him into purpose.
“It’s crazy because the women in my life have a huge impact on what I’ve done,” Green said. “They were completely open to me playing whatever sport I wanted to do, and I pursued basketball.”
Green was just 13 years old when he boarded an airplane at Sydney Airport with his family and set off for America. He was flanked on both sides by his parents, two brothers, Jay and Ky, and toddler Maya. It was a decision that was tough at the time, but ultimately paid off for the Green family and Josh’s desire to someday play professional basketball.
His parents, Cahla and Delmas, both played professional hoops in Australia, but they never pushed him to play basketball.
By the age of 10, Green had made state in nine sports, but there was something really unique and special about him when he picked up a basketball. His parents quietly noticed it and at age five, Cahla started coaching her son in the sport that would eventually lead him to Dallas.
“My mom played basketball and she’s a very competitive lady as well,” Green said. “She has taught me a lot of stuff on and off the court.”
In an interview a few years ago, Green shared one example of how intentional his mother was about his life and basketball career. Josh was in the fifth grade when Maya rolled into the world, and just days after giving birth, his mother packed up the family, rented a camper van and drove 14 hours into the Outback so that Josh could try out for an under-12 team.
“My mom has been an amazing role model and I aspire to be like her,” Green said. “My goal is to be able to give my younger sister the same opportunities that my mom and dad gave me.”
Tuesday night Green stepped away from the basketball court to serve as a special guest at the Mavs Academy’s Her Time To Play Jr. NBA clinic, presented by Nike. Participants included young girls from The Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) and The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas.
[Note: to read about the Her Time To Play initiative, click here.]
The Mavs are also investing $50K annually over the next three-years to support GSNETX as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Gift of Character partnership. The gift will empower the regional organization’s DEI efforts in four key structural transformations – people, programs, processes and properties.
Tuesday’s clinic also coincides with Women’s History Month, a time each March that the NBA and Mavericks actively promote the values of equality, equity and inclusion for women across the world. The Mavs especially aim to champion and celebrate female pioneers in the game of basketball and the women who influence the lives of our players.
No one believes in this message more than Green, and he’s watched it first-hand with his own mother.
“The power of a woman is way more than the game of basketball,” Green told the young athletes attending Tuesday’s clinic. “Women have such a big influence on everyday life and I really wouldn’t be where I was today without my mom.
“So all kudos and love to the moms out there. I have nothing but respect for you guys.”
Behind a backdrop of smiles and dribbling basketballs, Green proudly watched through the computer screen as the Girl Scouts and other youth got to work on their own hoop dreams on Tuesday night.
Throughout the event, staffers asked Green questions and he joyfully filled in the gaps with his own words of wisdom to encourage the next generation of basketball players.
He also shared thoughts on his first NBA season. Green recently returned from life in the NBA G League bubble, a place that was very, very good to him.
Not only did Green average 13.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.2 steals while shooting 45.5 percent from the field in six games with the Salt Lake City Stars. He also was able to play 29.7 productive minutes per game, which was extremely important at this stage in his career.
“I think in general just getting up and down (the court) you can learn so much just being out to play and being out to get game reps,” Green said. “There’s a huge difference between every day I’m working out, but being able to put it together in a game setting, it was great for not only me, but the other three rookies there.”
Now he’s excited to be back in Dallas.
“It’s been a very weird year for everyone, especially you guys who are in school,” Green told the children. “I think it’s just as weird for us just starting to see fans. It’s been an awesome experience to be in Dallas. I love the people in Dallas and it’s been super cool for me.”
One big reason Green was eager to serve as a special guest at Tuesday’s Mavs Academy clinic is because many of the youth are the same age as his nine-year-old sister, Maya. He said the young girl gives him great hope and empowers him to work hard each day. He imagines a day when girls of all ages will have equal opportunity in this world.
Green’s mother has taught him these valuable lessons and he added that his mom plays a mighty role in his daily basketball routine.
“I’m in constant contact with my family and especially my mom,” Green said. “I text her every night before she goes to sleep, and I text her before every game. That’s our thing. We have a very good bond. She is a big part of my life.”
Growing up in Australia, Green said the women’s national team also served as a backdrop of inspiration for him on the basketball court. For this reason, he realizes the importance of growing the game for young girls.
“The cool thing about basketball is not only is it worldwide, but anyone can play it,” Green said. “I think it’s so cool because it brings so many people together and it’s given me so many connections.
“The game is broad, and women play a large role in helping it continue to grow. It unites us all. Still to this day, I shoot the ball with my little sister. It brings us joy…and it really made my day to be able to attend a camp like this one today.”