BOONE — Appalachian State guard Bryant Greene got his chance to officially take the court for the first time in a regular-season game Nov. 7 at the Holmes Center.
Greene played the final 2:24 of Appalachian State’s 83-56 victory over visiting Ferrum on Nov. 7. Greene is unsure when he will get to play again, but he also knows it’s not his role to collect playing time.
Greene accepted an offer from new Appalachian State head coach Dustin Kerns to walk on to the Mountaineers’ program, but that acceptance had some strings attached. Kerns said Greene had to accept a role as primarily a practice player who helps the starters get ready for upcoming opponents.
Playing time may be available, but not guaranteed. After making his pitch, Kerns gave Bryant time to think it over before making a decision on the offer.
“This is going to be a role and actually I didn’t let him accept it right away,” Kerns said. “I don’t want you to make an emotional decision. I want you to think about three or four days, because here’s what I’m looking for. I’m looking for someone to be a teammate. I’m looking for someone to be a great guy on campus. I’m looking for a guy to do great things in the classroom in this role.”
Greene thought about it and realized that playing at App State was what he wanted to do. It allows him to stay close to home and he likes the academics Appalachian State has to offer.
“I like Boone,” Greene said. “My family is here. They’ve got a great business school and we’ve got great coaches. I really like the coaches and I love being around the team.”
Greene was a three-year starter with Watauga and averaged 18.8 points per game his senior season, but accepted his limited role with Appalachian State. His role at Watauga was to score both from the outside and from driving to the basket.
At App State, his role is to play on the Mountaineers’ scout team and get the starters familiar with App State’s upcoming opponents.
“Our main role is to do what we can to help the team win,” Greene said. “We do a lot of scout team stuff. We look at the team we’re playing that week and we go through the sets that they run and give the starters reads to what they’re going to see each game.”
Greene got his chance to take the court against Ferrum, but it didn’t go exactly as he planned. Greene handled the ball two times, but turned it over once before he could shoot the ball on one of the possessions.
Still, it was a chance to fulfill a dream he’s had since he was a kid growing up in Boone.
“I came up here and watched all the time,” he said. “It’s kind of surreal. It’s kind of exciting.”
He also recognizes the difference between high school and college basketball. He got a quick lesson on that during one of his first practices with the team. Watauga’s teams were never terribly big.
Appalachian State has some size on its roster, as Greene found out.
“I play a lot of offense against them and I get swatted all the time,” Greene said. “It’s not Watauga High School any more. We were playing pick-up after one of the first meetings there and I drove the lane like I would at Watauga and there are two 6-10 guys there just waiting to swat at it. It’s crazy and everyone is so fast and quick on this level too.”
Greene knows that the best way for him to return to the court is to have the Mountaineers to have a big lead toward the end of a game. That is fine with Greene, who knows his ultimate goal for the Mountaineers has been met.
“I want the team to win,” Greene said. “That’s my only goal this year. If I get in, that means we’re winning.”