Paul VI Catholic High School (Fairfax, Va.) has already matched its conference record and is close to surpassing its overall record from 2007-08. One of the reasons for the Panthers' improved play is transfer Erick Green.
Green, a 6-foot-3 point guard, is playing his first season at Paul VI after having a great junior season at Millbrook High School (Winchester, Va.) in which he averaged 18.6 points and six assists and helped lead the team to the Virginia State AA championship.
Green, who is committed to Virginia Tech, transferred to Paul VI, a member of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC), for his senior year because he wanted to face higher level competition on a regular basis as a senior to ready himself for basketball in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
"I think that Erick and his family are getting from this experience what they had hoped for -- a chance for Erick to play against consistently good competition, work on his game and get ready for college," Paul VI head coach Glenn Farello said. "It has worked out well for Erick and for the team because Erick is such an unselfish, smart player. The kids on the team have really accepted him. He has done a great job of playing the point guard position for us, running the team. He is a real leader and a very intelligent, team-oriented player."
On January 31, at the Comcast Center on the University of Maryland's campus, Paul VI took nationally ranked Montrose Christian to the buzzer before losing a heartbreaking 52-50 contest.
Green was a main catalyst in the Panthers' near upset.
"He scored 17 points. He had a very good floor game, defended, rebounded and his decision-making was good," Farello said. "It was a tough loss, we lost at the buzzer after being right there with Montrose the whole game. We make a shot here, hold onto a rebound at the end, we can win it. Erick had us there the whole game. He can impose his will on a game and really elevate the team with his play and leadership."
Green is averaging 17 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals per game for the Panthers. He is a strong candidate for All-WCAC honors and to repeat as an All-Met this year.
"Erick has played the point for us and Virginia Tech recruited him as a pure point guard," Farello said. "He is a very complete guard. He can score, shoot outside, drive the ball to the hoop, create, and defend. … As talented as he is physically and skill-wise, I think his greatest asset is his intelligence. Erick has a high basketball IQ, he makes excellent decisions on the floor. He has a good feel for the game, the tempo of the game.
"Erick really challenged himself to improve himself as a player when he decided to transfer here and make a move to our program," Farello said. "He has really responded to the challenge and I know he has made our team better and we are really glad to have him here at Paul VI."
James Quinn covers high school basketball for MDVarsity.com