By Joseph Staszewski
Sierra Green didn’t enjoy being left out of her first travel ball summer and it led to a breakout year.
She wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice.
The Francis Lewis rising junior girls’ basketball player found herself in summer school after her freshman year as her Patriot and Positive Direction teammates crisscrossed the country playing in front of college coaches.
It left her off most people’s radar and motivated her to be a better player and student.
“This year I knew I needed to handle my business,” Green said.
The sharpshooting guard went on for a breakout sophomore season and led Lewis to its first PSAL Class AA city title since 1979. Green, who averaged 19 points per game during the regular season, shot Francis Lewis past 15-time defending champion Murry Bergtraum in the semifinals and was named most valuable player against South Shore in the final.
The post-season put her and the Patriots on people’s watch list.
“I guess because we were young we caught peoples eye’s, because they didn’t think that would happen,” Green said.
Now that her performance in the classroom has improved, she is hoping to capitalize on the momentum of her sophomore season as she hits the travel ball circuit with Positive Direction this summer. Her performance in the Deep South Classic has already earned her interest from St. John’s, Seton Hall and Providence.
“I feel like it’s important because I am a sophomore,” Green said. “I’m going into my junior year next year. I need to start getting my looks.”
The time on the road has also been a learning experience. Green’s offensive abilities are well-documented. She is a clutch shooter, who can score in bunches and can take over a game for stretches.
Green is effective in transition and an underrated rebounder. Her confidence is high, but Positive Direction Coach JoAnn Arbitello said she is getting an education on how good other players are from around the country.
“She’s become a lot more confident since the high school season,” the coach said. “It’s easy for a kid to think they are better than they are. Now she is starting to see there are girls out here who can play just as well as she can.”
Green’s focus this summer has been improving her aggressiveness on defense. She admits she can be passive at times and Arbitello will push her to pick up her intensity on that end of the floor. Playing with Mary Louis rising junior Jasmine Brunson has pushed her to be better because Brunson is all over the court on defense.
It’s all part of Green’s maturation as a person and player. Last summer she learned that her performance in the classroom meant more than anything she did on the court. This time it’s about adding to and improving her game.
“I think her level of maturity off the court has really grown tremendously since April because she is starting to understand that everything counts,” Arbitello said. “Her off-the-court mannerisms, her academics, everything.”