By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Northridge, Calif. – Josh Greene embodies the term "student-athlete."
Greene's successful efforts on the basketball court have been well chronicled during the past three seasons. But more importantly, Greene's efforts in the classroom and in the community truly make the junior guard one of the beacons among the nearly 350 student-athletes who compete for Cal State Northridge.
The Scholar Baller program, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), recently announced the recipients of the Academic Momentum Award. Greene, a Recreation & Tourism Management major, was one of 64 student-athletes from across the United States named as Academic Momentum Award winners because of his academic success in the classroom and his community service.
"Academics and contributing to the community are very important to me," said Greene. "Coach (Braswell) and my mom have always stressed the value of academics. Whenever you have a chance to help people who are in need, that's important."
Thirty-one college and universities representing the 64 student-athletes were included on Team One, Team Two and Team Three. The list of winners included student-athletes from two Ivy League schools, Brown University and Columbia University.
The three teams were based on the level of academic improvement and the impact of that academic momentum on each nominee and his or her peers. Greene was named to Team Two.
"This is a great honor not only for Josh but for our men's basketball program and Matador Athletics as well," according to Ashlie Kite, Athletics Administration in Charge, and Associate Director of Athletics (Internal Operations).
During his tenure at Cal State Northridge, Greene has participated with the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) to raise funds to provide Christmas gifts and food for a needy family. Greene has also volunteered through his church at Christmas and Thanksgiving to feed the homeless in downtown Los Angeles and in the Children's Hunger Fund, packaging food for the needy.
"… Josh is a leader in the classroom and on the court," said head basketball coach Bobby Braswell. "He has always been honest, thoughtful and industrious. While Josh struggled in the classroom as a freshman, he was able to finish his sophomore year with a 3.46 GPA (Recreation and Tourism Management major).
Greene also has musical talent as well as his success on the court and in the classroom. Greene serves as a drummer in his church band as well as playing the piano and singing.
"Josh has been able to exhibit great organizational skills as well as his time management skills, efficiency and extreme competency," according to Braswell. "I have had the privilege to coach Josh Greene the past three seasons. During that time, he has transformed into a mature, young adult. I have had multiple conversations with Josh and I have spent considerable time around him. Josh's academic progress and momentum showed a direct correlation to his personal growth and development as a young man."
Allan Guei and Josh Greene have been the team's starting backcourt for Cal State Northridge in 2012-13. Guei, along with his Matador teammates, has the upmost admiration and respect for Greene's accomplishments on-and-off the court.
"Josh is a great person," said Guei, who is Greene's roommate. "When I took my recruiting trip to Cal State Northridge, Josh told me what to expect from college and I really appreciated that. I look up to Josh as my older brother. I'm happy for all the accomplishments Josh has enjoyed on-and-off the court."
The NCAS is an ever-growing organization of colleges and universities that provides opportunities for current and former student-athletes to continue their pursuit of higher education, while working in the community with children to address social issues.
Established in 1995, the Scholar Baller movement evolved in response to concerns that the student-athletes athletics increasingly superseded the student role. In order to address this issue, the founding members of Scholar Baller developed a ground-breaking program to bridge the gap between education and sport utilizing the student-athlete's passion for athletics. As a result, the Scholar Baller program has produced unprecedented outcomes in student retention and academic achievement.
Josh Greene, who will receive a recognition certificate along with a Scholar Baller medal, will be honored at an upcoming Cal State Northridge basketball game.