Women in Sports: Basketball Dribbling Sensation, Bree Green
Bree “Hoops” Green of the Harlem Globetrotters sat down with Double G Sports for a phone interview. Green was recruited to the Globetrotters back in 2017. Prior to joining the team, Green played in the Czech Republic, Spain, and Mexico, all while getting her Masters Degree in Sports Management.
In high school, Green led her team to two state championships, while simultaneously being ranked as third in the nation. Upon going to the University of Texas-El Paso, she led her team in both points and assists, ranking number three on the school’s all time scoring list.
Green has become known for her flashy dribbling. She is an inspiration in her craft, and is willing to use her platform to promote positivity. She took the time to share her insight, her thoughts, and her experience.
What has your experience been like playing for the Globetrotters or just in general. . . just living out your dream on a day to day basis?
“It’s amazing, its been a great opportunity starting from when I was about 6 years old. I fell in love with the game of basketball thanks to my older brother. . . I went on to play at AAU, where I was able to travel all over the United States and. . . perfect my craft even at a young age. Coming into high school. . . my team was really good. We were third in the nation, we won a lot. . . High school prepared me for college because it was really good academic school, as well as athletic school, so it got me ready for college. . . It was cool, but it was rough also.
I went through a lot of adversity in college, I tore both my ACLs and it was kind of rough. . . but somehow still managed to be the third most winning-est player in school history. . . I still managed to get that, but I know that I still could have done more. So, that led me to my professional level because. . . I felt like I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t satisfied because there were so many things I went through and I knew I could have done better. So, I didn’t want it to end that way.
I got the opportunity to play professionally. I played in Czech Republic, as well as Mexico, and that was a great experience for me. . . I was grateful for that opportunity, I did well oversees. . . then I had to have my third knee surgery, which actually led me to play with the Globetrotters.”
When hit with a difficult situation, Green refused to give up. “I knew I couldn’t do anything too crazy. . . but I knew I could dribble. . . since I was young dribbling came natural to me. . . My favorite players were Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant, but I love Allen Iverson because of the way he was and how flashy he was. I used to study the And1 mixtapes when I was younger.”
Green also included that she enjoyed being able to travel, meet knew people, and do what she was passionate about.
You spoke about your injury and feeling unsatisfied at the end of college. How much did that push you in terms of going and striving to go on to the next level?
“It definitely pushed me a lot. . . Honestly, when I was playing basketball when I was younger, everything came natural. Everything seemed easy. So, once I went through that, that type of adversity. . . I was like finally getting tested. It was either going to make me or break me, but I loved basketball too much to let that stop me. . . I wanted more and I continue to want more, every day. . . I just know what I’m capable of and I knew I could do so much more. I did what I could, and I made it work.”
You mentioned Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant as your favorite players. Were they inspirations to you on how to play the game? Were there other players or just people in your life that inspired you?
“I loved those guys growing up, but the reason why I picked up basketball, the reason I’ve had so much success. . . I would give most of that credit to my older brother. . . I always looked up to him. He is a great model and just a great person in general. . . He always pushed me. I always wanted to be like him, I always wanted do what he was doing. Some guys take it easy on you. . . but he never took it easy on me. . . He’s my biggest fan and I give him most of the credit.”
How important is it for you to be in that kind of role or be that that kind of inspiration to someone else?
“It is a huge inspiration and I’ll take that and use it as fuel because I know there’s always someone looking. A younger girl or even a boy. Many times I’ll have a kid, or a boy come up to me and say I’m their favorite player. . . It’s cool that I can get their attention. I just try to be positive a role model and influence, to encourage girls to just go for it. We can break barriers and we’re achieving so much, so I just encourage them to go break a barrier.”
Have you felt that playing as a Globetrotter or oversees has given you more of a voice to reach more people?
“I think my platform allows me to reach so many people. . . I may be going to a gym or going somewhere and someone will just recognize me. . . and still come to me and say you’re my favorite player, I love watching you move. Or I’ll get messaged about girls saying they picked up a basketball because of me or they didn’t quit because of me. It’s pretty amazing the effect that can have. I will never take that for granted and I’ll just try to continue to be, to do what I do and just be a good role model to the best that I can.”
Now I know you’ve done a little bit of coaching and you’ve served as a role model and given back to the community. How important is it for you to continue to give the back to the community and when you’re coaching kids in general, what do you tell them?
“I would just tell them, if it’s attainable you can reach it. It doesn’t matter your gender, your age. None of that matters. I just encourage them. . . I would tell them I they have my support and I just know they’re more than capable of doing it. If it’s something that they are passionate about, if its something positive, then why not. . . Go for it.”
Have you thought about your post-player life?
“I always think about that. My dad was a principal so he always drilled in education. I know that nobody can take my degree away from me so I know its important to think beyond basketball. So, I plan to be my own boss. I want to make my own rules and do my own thing. I’ve always been passionate about sports, so being on the business side, as well as sports. I can see myself coaching, training, having a facility. But I don’t want to limit it to the women’s side. I do want to get involved in the NBA, player development, Becky Hammon type style.”
That being said, do you have any insight on how women have elevated this game and expanded this game?
“I’ve seen it drastically. . . but also not enough. . . I’ll see girls dunking, which is crazy. . . It’s crazier that I’m seeing it more often. It wouldn’t be that crazy if girls got the same attention that guys got. We’re not acknowledged as much on different platforms, but there’s definitely a movement going on. Women empowerment. I see the movement, I feel the movement, and I want to just uplift women as much as I can. . . I’ve definitely have seen it evolve in women sports, but we need more.”
How would you like to see women incorporated more into this atmosphere?
“I think it would just start with maybe social media and the media aspect, like television. . . Talk more about them, show more footage of them. . . Bring in more attention. . . Bring in more coaches. . . coaching women. . . You can start with college and then move to the NBA. . . Skill level, I think women are there. I think I have the skill level to compete with any man, especially with my dribbling and my shooting. . . As far as my skill level, I think I can hang with guys and I think women can too.”
Do you think we will be in place where we’ll eventually see women being the subjects of E-Sport Games and be E-sport players?
“I’ve seen them where they’ve had women influencers. . . They have started. . . But I think the focus should be on girls who actually play basketball. . . I can see that happening. I think it would probably have to start probably with the WNBA. . . Something would have change with the WNBA. . . They need more respect. The Players need more respect. The League needs more respect, so something would have to change with that.”
So, these are my fun, lightning round questions. You ready? If there was any other sport in the world you could be good at it, what would it be?
“Volleyball. . I said that because my little sister plays volleyball and she’s a beast.”
If there was any woman in the world you could meet, who would it be and what would you tell her?
“Ellen DeGeneres. . . She’s dope. Her personality, her swag, she just loves people. I would hang out with her.”
Now, because of your high level of dribbling skill and basketball IQ, I consider you an authority on the subject, so James Harden’s step back, travel or nah?
“They don’t call it, so no travel.”
Women refs in the NBA, do you think that’s something the NBA should try to incorporate more.
“Oh yeah, for sure.”
Do you think All-star weekend should incorporate NBA and WNBA players into one giant weekend event?
“That would be awesome. I think, that would help the WNBA get more attention. People would learn more about the players. . . I think that would be great. . . If you like sports, it shouldn’t matter if it’s a guy or girl. Or even you incorporated the WNBA and the NBA, like have a team like James Harden and Sue Bird verses Trey Young and Cappie Pondexter. . . I would watch that.”