Draymond Green: "I can be a walking testimony of what college can do for you"
Former MSU forward Draymond Green had a homecoming this past weekend at MSU.
After announcing Thursday that he donated $3.1 million to the men's basketball program to fund several Breslin Center renovations, he made a guest appearance on ESPN's College GameDay and a cameo during MSU football's 31-28 victory against Oregon.
During his press conference last week, Green stated he wanted to give back to the university that helped turn him from a boy to a man. In an era where college athletes are encouraged to go pro sooner rather than later, Green is an outlier.
As a four-year player at MSU from 2009-12, Green established himself as one of the top college players in the nation. However, his fruitful college career didn't initially sell NBA Draft pundits as he was the 35th pick in the NBA draft.
Now a NBA star and champion entering the first year of a new five-year, $82 million contract, Green credits his four years in college for preparing him for the rigors of the NBA.
"I think a lot of times, especially in our sport, it's almost looked down on now to go to college or not," Green said. "I'll never understand it. Because even if you look at it when you do go to college, the guys who go to college and spend some time in college, if you go on to the NBA you're probably a little more ready than the guy who was in college for a year. So I'll never understand it."
Green said he found a home in East Lansing. Despite graduating three years ago, he has returned to MSU's campus each summer. He credits the MSU men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo for his growth, citing late night office visits he had with Izzo that helped him grow as a person.
"So many people look down on college, and I just don't get it because it gives you — it's a time of your life that you have room for growth, and it allows you to grow," Green said. "So you make a couple mistakes in college and Coach Izzo held me in the office until 3 o'clock in the morning and I had to be up for class at 8 o'clock a.m., but it's okay because it's a part of growing."
Green noted that his college experience may be one uniquely found in East Lansing.
"I'm not sure why so many people look down on it because it's been the best thing that ever happened to me," he said. "So I mean, I guess I can be a walking testimony of what college can do for you, but I just don't understand the whole concept of why so many people are against college. Maybe it's because they didn't go to Michigan State. I don't know."