Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Hofstra’s Juan’Ya Green Drawing Attention of NBA Scouts
NEW YORK – Hofstra led by three late in the second half when Juan’ya Green drove to the right side of the basket. With two defenders closing in, Green threw a miraculous behind the head pass to an open RokasGustys who dunked it for two points, erupting the crowd at Madison Square Garden.
The 6-foot-2 Green managed to do it all on Sunday afternoon.
Hofstra went on to defeat Appalachian State, 86-80, at Madison Square Garden behind Green’s 17 points, six assists, five rebounds four steals and one block. The Pride (6-2) won their third straight.
“That pass that Juan’ya threw, we see two or three of them a day,” said Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich, who brought Green with him from Niagara in 2013. “I know the Knicks play here, but with all due respect, I don’t know if they have anyone that can pass like he passes.”
Scouts from the Pacers, Hawks, and Cavaliers have reached out to the team about the senior guard from Philadelphia, and a scout from the Blazers was in attendance to watch Green when Hofstra played St. Bonaventure last week.
Many scouts took notice after Hofstra defeated Florida State at the Paradise Jam Tournament in the Virgin Islands last month. Green finished with 17 points, seven assists and three steals to lead his team to an 82-77 victory over the Seminoles.
Against Appalachian State, Green was in foul trouble in the first half and scored just five points on 1-of-2 shooting. Hofstra trailed by two at the half as a result. But Green’s return in the second half drew double-teams that were able to free up other teammates.
Four players scored in double-figures for the Pride, including Gustys who added 15 points and 12 rebounds.
“Just going into the second half, I just had the mindset of creating plays for myself and for my team,” Green said.
The second half belonged to Green, who made no-look passes, pull-up 3s, and even added a blocked shot on Appalachian State’s 6-foot-8 big men Griffin Kinney.
“I’m glad he’s gone [after this year],” said Appalachian State coach Jim Fox. “Whenever they needed a bucket, and we defended it the right way, Green still made a shot. That’s special for Joe [Mihalich] to be able to have a guy like that.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.