Greene's summer heats up

The Baltimore Sun

Like other high school graduates, Donte Greene is spending his summer vacationing, including hanging out with friends.

Except for Greene, "vacationing" also means flying across the Atlantic for an elite basketball tournament, and "hanging out" comes in the form of early morning workouts with NBA stars Carmelo Anthony and Sam Cassell.

Greene has spent the past several days in Dallas as part of the U.S. under-19 national team, preparing for a trip with the team to Serbia.

Before he left Baltimore, the Towson Catholic graduate and McDonald's All-American worked out with some top talent at Anthony's youth center.

Greene, a versatile 6-foot-10 forward, is already benefiting after adding 10 pounds of muscle since graduation to reach 225 pounds.

"I'm still a little skinny guy, but I'm working hard," said Greene, who will play at Syracuse. "I'm loving it right now."

"He looks good, he really does," said Josh Pratt, Greene's high school coach. "The more he puts on weight - strength, really - the better he'll get. I think he can be tremendous."

Several NBA draft Web sites have pegged Greene as a future first-round pick, including one, nbadraft.net, that has him going eighth overall next year.

Greene and his teammates on the national team played Global Games AA, a squad comprising NCAA Division I players, last night for the Global Games tournament championship. His team won, 86-72.

Greene scored 11 points in his team's 117-79 win over Puerto Rico on Friday night to secure a birth in the final.

Today, Greene will head for Serbia, where the team will take part in the FIBA U-19 world championships. There could be as many as nine games in 10 days for the U.S. team.

"Nothing is going to get you as prepared [for college] as what we're going into. Every team comes at you. Every team wants to beat you." Greene said. "They bring their A-plus-plus game, because you have that bull's-eye on your chest as the U.S.A."

Last Sunday, Greene and his teammates played the Chinese national team, led by NBA lottery pick Yi Jianlian, in an exhibition game in Dallas and won, 91-75. The squad also had twice-daily practices, which were particularly beneficial, Greene said.

"There's nothing like going against guys who are just as good as you for three hours," he said.

Though the team is stocked with such college veterans as Oregon guard Tajuan Porter and Ohio State forward David Lighty, there are notable incoming freshmen in addition to Greene.

Michael Beasley of Gaithersburg, a prized Kansas State recruit, and DeAndre Jordan, a center headed to Texas A&M;, are both contributors. It's another Syracuse recruit, however, who has Greene counting the days until next season.

Jonny Flynn, a 6-1 point guard from Niagara Falls, N.Y., is, like Greene, one of the top-rated players in the class of 2007. Flynn's court vision, passing skill and "floor general" mentality, Greene said, have him excited for the future. The two, who knew each other previously from summer ball, have become friends.

"That's my guy," Greene said. "There's nobody else I'd rather be playing with right now."

sean.gentille@baltsun.com

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