H.S. BASKETBALL | Harlan County's Blair Green Inks L.O.I. To UK

11/09/2017 04:01 PM

On Wednesday Harlan County stand-out Blair Green made it official with Kentucky, inking her National Letter of Intent. The life-long Cats fan grew up dreaming of getting to wear the blue and white, but it almost didn’t happen.

“When I was younger, yeah Kentucky was my dream. Then when I got to high school, like my freshman year I was like ‘Oh, I don’t really think I’m going to go to Kentucky. I think I might try something new, go out of state- just be different,’ and then once I went to Kentucky, I was like ‘Wow, this really feels like home, this is where I should be and I want to represent my state,‘” Green told Spectrum News.

Some parents might have trouble relating to their teenagers, but not Debbie Green. Exactly 30 years ago, she signed her letter to head to UK from Harlan County, too.

“It was exciting. To have that ‘Kentucky’ written across my chest was just like such an honor, you know what I mean? It was just really, really a good time,” Debbie explained.

Debbie isn’t just Blair’s mom, though. She’s also her coach.

“I’ve always been Blair’s coach, since she was in third grade and she played up on our fifth and sixth grade team,” Green said. “She kind of would sit the bench and play with us and all the way through middle school and then her dad was her coach while she was in seventh and eighth grade playing for Middlesboro High School and then when she came here, of course I took the coaching job and she’s played for me the whole time.”

Blair’s dad is an assistant coach for Harlan County. With two parents who each played college basketball and coach, it would have been easy to force Blair into basketball, but that wasn’t the case.

“I wanted to be a cheerleader when I was little, but it was just because of the outfits, so they would dress me up in a little cheerleading outfit and take me out to the football game,” Blair said with a laugh. “But that ended quickly and yeah, I’ve been in the gym ever since I was little- shooting and everything.”

Her mom, Debbie, said they knew she had promising talent pretty early on.

“We knew her height, she was probably going to take a growing spurt with her dad at 6’9” and me about six foot, so we knew if she worked hard and she kept her head on straight she had a good chance. So we sat down and asked her ‘What do you want to do?’ and she said ‘I want to play for a big school and where you can watch me on T.V.’ so I said ‘Okay, well that’s not easy to do, so you know, there’s a lot that you’re going to have to sacrifice?‘ so we kind of started that with her.”

It was UK hoops junior, Maci Morris, who grew up with Blair, that predicted she would come to Kentucky.

“I remember when I had all these other offers and she was like ‘Blair, where are you going?’ and I was like ‘I don’t know,’ and all these coaches and assistant coaches were like ‘Maci, is she going to come to Kentucky?’ and she was like ‘Yeah, she’s going to come to Kentucky,‘ and I was like ‘Maci, I don’t know if I’m going to go to Kentucky’, and she’s like ‘She is. She’s going to Kentucky,’ so, we’re really excited about it and we’re just glad to be reunited. I mean, we’ve always played against each other since we were younger and it’s going to feel good to finally be on her side of the court,” Blair explained.

And like Blair is following in her mom’s footsteps, she hopes she inspires the next generation of UK Hoops stars.

“It means everything. Just to represent Kentucky and just to show other kids from Kentucky from small towns that they can do it if they go out there and work, that it is possible and just being able to be like a role model for younger kids in Kentucky is awesome.”

Blair’s senior season gets started November 30 on the road at North Laurel.

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