Before becoming the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Jalen Green was the sixth man for Team USA in junior international competition.
Green won FIBA gold medals with Team USA in the under-16 FIBA Americas Championship, the under-17 World Cup and the under-19 World Cup. In 2018, Green won MVP in Argentina at the under-17 World Cup. His coach for both the under-16 and under-17 teams is legendary coach Don Showalter.
Showalter stepped down recently into an administrative role after going 62-0 with 10 gold medals as the Head Coach for USA’s under-16 and under-17 teams.
He still talks to Green regularly and has insights into his game that many coaches won’t have since Green played tough international competition under his coaching.
Showalter raved about Green’s game and personality.
“He came off the bench for us and said whatever it takes to win a gold medal he’ll do,” said Showalter.
Showalter saw first hand as Green progressed from a solid piece on the under-16 team to the tournament MVP the next year.
“He’s the type of good that likes to get everybody involved,” said Showalter. “He’s really happy when his teammates are good too. But same token is that he can take over a game. When he’s hot from (the) three-point (line) he completely takes over a game.”
“He is so good to coach, even when things aren’t going quite his way. He’s very resilient, he’s really learned how to do the next play.” said Showalter.