The Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach basketball programs celebrated a couple of milestones last Friday, and these two senior hoops stars appear to have a lot of mileage ahead.
Saints sharpshooter Michael Green was honored for scoring his 2,000th career point, and Lady Saints standout TeTe Jones scored her 1,000th career point in the girls game.
The two have more in common than being the recent recipients of commemorative basketballs. Both are in the process of proving to college recruiters that they are ready to play at the next level despite their small private-school proving grounds.
It proved to be a career night in more ways than one for Green, who tallied a career-best 51 points to lead Christian Academy to a 93-30 victory over visiting Marlboro Academy.
“I remember when I scored my 1,000th point, the next day I was like, ‘OK, when is 2,000?” Green said. “To do both of them at the Beach Ball [Classic] was special. I had wanted to play in the Beach Ball ever since I started going to it as a kid.”
Green finally got his wish this season when the Saints were promoted to the Beach Ball’s main tournament bracket from exhibition status. Green showed what he could do, averaging more than 25 points per game, winning the three-point contest and leading his team to a win over local Class 5A Socastee.
“I feel like any private school you go to, there’s a stigma that you don’t play against tough competition,” Green said. “It follows you, not just me but all my teammates, so it was great to have the opportunity to play these big programs and show what we’re made of.”
The performance also gave a boost to his recruiting prospects. He has offers from Charlotte and USC Upstate, as well as a preferred walk-on offer from South Carolina, but the interest in him has started to peak after his appearance at the Beach Ball.
“That was a storybook week for me,” Green said. “Playing against five-star guys that have 20 offers, and doing it with ‘Christian Academy’ on my chest after going to school here all my life and hearing ‘You guys will never play in the Beach Ball’ - and to get a win - that made it even more special.”
Jones’ milestone was more somber than Green’s after the Lady Saints suffered a tough 53-52 overtime loss to Marlboro Academy. Tied at 44-all at the end of regulation, Jones took the opening tip for a layup to hit the 1,000 mark, but the finish made it hard for her to enjoy.
“That wasn’t the way I wanted to get it,” Jones said. “It’s more important for me to help my team win than any individual stats. I’m supposed to be the leader of my team. When I put my head down, they put their heads down. We just didn’t get it done tonight.”
But Jones’ stellar career has helped her gain some interest from small colleges. She plans to visit Nebraska College in the near future to weigh the benefits of going far from home to play college basketball.
“I have coached TeTe since she played JV and she is such a great kid,” said Lady Saints coach Meredith Hall. “To watch her grow from where she was to the team leader she is today has been amazing. I’m so proud of her.”
Green and Jones hope to lead their respective teams to the SCISA state playoffs next month and finish their high school careers on a positive note before embarking on a college career. The future looks bright for both.
“I’m so glad I came to school here, and not just for basketball,” Jones said. “It’s been a great experience that I will carry with me no matter what I decide to do.”