Updated: Jun 11
In its second rendition, the 2021 Border League boosted a plethora of talented players and teams from around the nation. Border League’s premier bracket, GEICO Top Flight Invite, has become one of the most anticipated preseason high school tournaments. In an action-packed weekend at Coronado High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Pro Insight was on-hand to cover the showcase and caught up with Southern California Academy (CA) guard Braelon Green.
Although Green was unable to participate due to a shoulder injury suffered over the summer, he was still locked in with his teammates on the bench and soaking up information from his coaches. Green recently transferred to Southern California Academy [SCA] in pursuit of a strong schedule and a desire to continue getting better. After a brief, but strong spring period with Bates Fundamentals (MI), Green quickly became one of the hotter 2023 guards on the market. Eager to make his return, Green has been putting in the work to become sharper on and off the court and will be a welcomed in-house addition to an already strong roster.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Green discussed his background, his decision to join SCA, his recruitment update, his off-court interests, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Braelon Green, from Detroit, Michigan:
Pro Insight: Can you share a bit about your background?
Braelon Green: I’m from Detroit, Michigan. I’ve really got a hard working family. My dad is a principal and my mom works for the school district also so I’ve got a pretty solid family. I’ve got two brothers, one of them went to Kentucky and he was a highly-rated prospect in high school and the other one coaches football. I’m the youngest in the family.
PI: Did your brother play basketball at Kentucky?
BG: Yes, his name is Alex Legion.
PI: Any other athletes in the family?
BG: My dad played a little bit in college. He played at a community college, but that’s pretty much it.
PI: That sounds like a big time basketball family! What was that like growing up?
BG: Growing up my dad has been my coach like [starting] in elementary through sixth grade. Then once I got to sixth grade he let other people coach me so I could be more coachable. My brothers were hard on me, I remember playing with them in the backyard getting roughed around because I was the smallest.
PI: Did that shape the player you are today?
BG: I think it definitely helped me. I think playing against older kids when I was younger helped me, because I always used to play up grade levels. I think it definitely helped me be tough.
PI: Describe your game — what are some of your strengths?
BG: I think my biggest strength is the defensive side of the ball. I love playing defense. If the best player is on the other team that’s who I’ll be guarding. I feel like I’m a combo guard, I can play the point or shooting guard, but I’m trying to switch over to the PG a little bit more. I’m a scoring guard and [I’m] athletic.
PI: Describe yourself as a defender.
BG: I’m very tenacious. I’m versatile, for sure. I think I’m a lockdown defender because I actually care about that side of the ball.
PI: What about some areas of improvement?
BG: I think my catch-and-shoot game. I like shooting off the dribble more so I think my catch-and-shoot game and my efficiency.
PI: What are some underrated aspects of your game?
BG: I mean people call me “two-way” but I don’t think people really understand how much I affect the game on defense that you really might see or look at.
PI: What are you doing to improve your catch-and-shoot game?
BG: Everyday I’m in the gym and I get three workouts in other than practice. I work out before school, after practice, and during practice since I can’t practice [right now]. Just a bunch of shooting, catching-and-shooting from all spots. Thirty makes per spot usually, just in the lab really working on everything.
PI: Describe this past summer — how’d it go?
BG: Yeah, I blew up and I played two tournaments. Before I played those tournaments I had no Power-5 offers and after that I just started picking up offers from pretty much everywhere. It was very surprising and I didn’t expect it because I only had mid-major offers [before that]. Then once I played in Midwest Mania in the Spring...I didn’t play the whole summer because of my shoulder...after I played that the offers just started coming in. Then once coaches were able to call me, my phone couldn’t stop buzzing.
PI: How surreal has it been to get all of the college attention?
BG: To be honest when the rankings came out my ninth grade year I was kind of upset because I thought I deserved it. But it was definitely surreal when my name was on the list and just seeing where I came from. Being unranked to ranked. I still believe I’m a top-five player in the country and it’ll show over time.
PI: What are some of your short term goals?
BG: I want to win The Grind Session and I want to win GEICO [Nationals].
PI: What about your long term goals?
BG: I mean of course I want to be a pro, but I want to pick the school that’s best for me and that fits. I need a coach that believes in me and believes in what I can do.
PI: You recently transferred to Southern California Academy [SCA] — what led to that decision?
BG: I transferred to SCA because I believe Julius V produces pros and he’s been working with pros for a long time. My main goal is to be a pro and being in practice with high level players every day will get me better.
PI: How do you feel like your game has grown since working with Julius V?
BG: It definitely has improved. I learn how to work harder, how to be more communicative and how to be a better leader.
PI: What’s the latest with your recruitment?
BG: Yeah so I went to USC last week for an unofficial and saw the campus a little bit. I like the way they run their practices, it’s very smooth. The coaches get to what they want to do and they’re very vocal. I have a visit to Mississippi State on November 12-13th, it’s an unofficial. I have an official October 30th at Michigan State. I took an unofficial there a month ago and I took another one during the summer.
PI: Is your teammate Jaxon Kohler [Michigan State commit] trying to sway you that way?
BG: Definitely, Jaxon is always trying to sway me that way and plus I’m from Michigan so I’ve got people in my ear constantly.
PI: Same thing with Oziyah Sellers and USC?
BG: Yeah Oziyah is in my ear too, so we’ll see how that goes.
PI: What’s the update with recent offers?
BG: The latest I’ve had is Nebraska, Washington and USC. I’ve talked to Virginia and Louisville a lot lately, Kansas came and watched me the other day in practice, Michigan State comes in quite a bit, Arizona State came in also, Missouri talks to me a lot, too...Coach [Cuonzo] Martin and Coach [Cornell] Mann.
PI: You touched on this earlier, but what are you looking for out of your school of choice? What do you value?
BG: I value where I can be comfortable, even if I don’t make it [in basketball], being there for four years. What’s important for me are relationships. After basketball, being able to come back to the school after I graduate, and which school is going to take care of me even if it doesn’t go well. A winning tradition plays a big part and I think I need a coach that’s going to push me and believes in what I can do.
PI: Elaborate a bit more on why it’s important to have a coach that loves and believes in you — why is that big for you?
BG: I think it helps me because it’s a confidence thing knowing the coach really believes in you. I have confidence, but it’s different when a coach has confidence in you. I think it brings it up to a different level. I think a coach believing in you is like when your parents believe in you. I feel like they’re a parent on the court and they’re letting you rock and do your thing, but he’s also teaching you the right ways as we go.
PI: How do you see your role at the next level?
BG: I want to be a floor general and I want to run the show for a great team. I also want to be a great teammate at the same time. I don’t want to be like this big time dude that disrespects their team or coaches. I want to do what it takes to win.
PI: You mentioned having a place to go to for four years is important if basketball doesn’t work out — what are you drawn to educationally?
BG: I want to be a neurosurgeon if I don’t make it in basketball. I’ve always been intrigued with surgeries and how the body works. That’s something I really believe I can do if I don’t make it.
PI: So you’ve been enjoying physical therapy recently?
BG: Definitely. Just learning about new body parts and what they do. The whole system, it’s really one system where if one thing is wrong with you it can affect another part of your body.
PI: Outside of basketball and hanging with friends — what are some hobbies of yours people may not know about?
BG: I love listening to music, that’s my thing. I’ve got a pair of headphones in my pocket right now and I listen to music most of the time. I love playing video games...I haven’t played recently, though. Ever since I came to prep school I haven’t had time. I go to sleep very early, probably like 9:30 PM so I don’t have much time to play.
PI: Who are your top-3 music artists right now?
BG: NoCap, Lil Baby, and Baby Face Ray.
PI: If you had one hashtag to describe yourself — what would that hashtag be and why?
BG: That’s a good question. I think I’m a loving person, so #loving. I think when people don’t know me, from afar some people say I look mad or some people don’t understand me. But once I get to know you I’m very loving and I’m very forgiving as a person and a friend. I never like to lose people that are important in my life.
PI: What’s your on vs. off-court personality like?
BG: So on-court I gotta be mean, a gorilla all of the time. But off the court I’m pretty chill, I like to laugh a lot and joke around. I like to just have fun off the court because life is short and I want to have fun. I don’t want to take life that seriously unless I have to. I just try to enjoy it.
PI: Say tomorrow you woke up with $10 million in your bank account — what would be your first purchase?
BG: Probably the biggest house I could get. Or like a Rolls-Royce Cullinan. That’s my dream car, I’m hoping to get it one day.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for on and off the court?
BG: I want to be remembered as a team player. Off the court I want to be remembered as a great person. I think that’s the best thing you can be complimented on, is being a great person. Having a good personality and not treating people wrong. Treating people well goes a long way. I feel like karma is actually real — if you treat people wrong it’s going to eventually come back and get you.