CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) – Like most guys who've ever picked up a basketball, UNI sophomore A.J. Green has visions of one day playing in the pros.
“That's my dream,” said Green, “I think that's every little kid's dream that wants to play basketball is to play in the NBA, and mine is no different.”
Green took a step toward that dream this weekend when he declared for the NBA draft. The reigning Missouri Valley Player of the Year hasn't hired an agent, however, and he says he expects to be back in the McLeod Center for his junior season.”
“Based on the feedback that I got before declaring, I think I plan on coming back to UNI next year,”
he said, “I'm just doing this to get feedback and learn, but I plan on coming back.”
Green says he'd need almost a guarantee of being an early pick to even think about staying in the draft.
Plus, after winning the MVC regular season title and seeing the dream of making the Big Dance shut down, he's hoping to take care of some unfinished business.
“I know we'll have another shot to go to the NCAA tournament,” said Green, the league's top scorer last season, “It's not only been a goal of mine, but the whole entire program and everyone on the team, to make a final four run, and I think that's something we can for sure do.”
For the kid who won a state title in high school with Cedar Falls just two years ago, the thought of being on the floor with some of the NBA's top stars in just a couple months is admittedly intriguing. That goal, however, likely will have to wait a bit longer.
“I guess it's really cool to be able to say you have that possibility in the near future. It just makes you want to keep working hard and hopefully do whatever you can to be out there with them.”