When Lawrence High senior Dorian Green and his father, Darren, made an official visit to Colorado State University on the final day of February, they made a stop at the university bookstore and picked up a T-shirt and a hat.
But instead of wearing the new gear as a memento of the visit, Green and his father made a pact: no breaking them in until Green decides where he’ll play basketball next year. So the CSU bag with the hat and shirt sat untouched in Green’s house. Until Monday night.
With CSU head coach Tim Miles in town for an in-home visit on Monday, the bag was emptied, and Green orally committed to Colorado State.
“We broke ’em out tonight,” Green said of the hat and shirt.
Green’s decision to join the Rams ends one of the city’s most exciting recruiting journeys in recent memory. During the past 12-18 months, Green received scholarship offers from Wagner College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, as well as interest from perennial basketball sleepers Creighton, Western Kentucky and Oral Roberts, among others.
In the end — and, really, from the very beginning — CSU won the race for Green because of two things.
“The first thing was the atmosphere of Fort Collins (Colo.),” Green said. “The biggest draw to it is that it’s so similar to Lawrence. It’s a college town, and the whole community revolves around the university. That was a big deal for me.”
The other was that CSU — its players and coaching staff — made Green feel wanted.
From the time the Mountain West Conference school first sent a coach to watch Green against Free State High back in December to the time Miles set foot in Green’s living room Monday night, the Rams made Green a priority. The 6-foot-1 senior, who last week was named the Sunflower League and All-Area Player of the Year, is the only true guard in CSU’s 2009 recruiting class and should have a chance for immediate playing time.
“I’m just so happy for him,” LHS coach Chris Davis said. “I think it’s a great fit. I think it’s perfect. I think he’s going to a place where he can make a difference.”
That’s the plan and, ultimately, the thing that made Green most excited about selecting Colorado State.
“(Coach Miles) is kind of rebuilding the program, and I have a chance to go there and be a part of rebuilding Colorado State,” Green said. “It was pretty much a no-brainer. It shouldn’t have taken this long, actually.”
Green’s commitment, although solid, is not binding. He is expected to make things official on national signing day during the second week of April. The first day high school seniors are allowed to sign is April 8. They must sign by Aug. 1 in order to be eligible to compete during the 2009-10 season.
That shouldn’t be a problem for Green, who doesn’t expect to wait. After all, this is a day he has been looking forward to since he was 4 years old and would draw up and play out NCAA Tournament brackets in his grandparents’ driveway every Saturday.
“It’s surreal,” Green said. “It’s an opportunity I’ve wanted since I was little. I didn’t pick (CSU) because they were the highest level or anything like that. I picked them just because of how well I’m going to fit in there. Everything about it was just a perfect fit for me and my personality. It’s a dream come true.”