Relax UNI Panther Fans, A.J. Green Is NOT Leaving
As a University of Northern Iowa basketball fan, when I heard the news that longtime assistant coach Kyle Green was leaving to join new Iowa State basketball coach T.J. Otzelberger's staff at Iowa State, my immediate thought was, "oh no, (his son) A.J. Green is going jump in the transfer portal and join his dad in Ames."
If that news were true, that would be just "rubbing salt in the wound," especially after the way the UNI's men's basketball season abruptly came to a halt. It was a bitter ending to the season when the Panthers were forced to withdraw from the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament after a positive COVID-19 test and mass confusion over league and local protocols. However, good news UNI fans, that couldn't be farther from the truth.
In an article in the WCF Courier Green said, “I’m not going anywhere, the reason I want to stay here is just the support in the community. This is where I’ve been hooping my whole life. At CF (Cedar Falls), all the people in the community supported me there, and ever since I got here (to UNI) it’s all been love."
In talking about his father's move to Iowa State, Green also pointed out in the Courier article that, “I don’t want people to think there’s bad blood. This is something that he’s wanted and I support him 100%, and I want him to do this."
As the younger Green has future aspirations of playing in the NBA, the elder Green spent 16 seasons at Northern Iowa and was a part of more than 300 victories. According to Cyclones.com, he had three stints with the Panthers and was elevated to associate head coach at UNI prior to the 2017-18 season. He also coached in Cedar Falls from 2001-03 and 2006-11.
Now, he now joins Otzelberger's staff at ISU with hopes of turning around a program that just ended its worst season in program history. The Cyclones finished 2-22 overall and 0-18 in Big 12 play.
In the meantime, A.J.'s rehab is going well after injuries forced him to miss most of the season. After playing only three games, Green underwent two hip surgeries -- one in December and another in February.
The Missouri Valley Conference’s 2019-20 "Larry Bird Player of the Year" is on pace to be ready for the 2021-22 and come back to lead the Panthers as they try to accomplish their goals.
I think I speak for all UNI fans, when I say we can't wait to see him back on the court and leading the Panthers on to many victories.
Source: WCF Courier