Jalen Green Returns To Fresno For Annual Camp, Feeling More Mature On And Off The Court

The rising NBA star says he’s stepping up his game on the court, handling himself with more maturity and make statements in the fashion industry.


When Jalen Green arrived at the second annual JG4 Basketball Camp in Fresno on Saturday, dozens of elementary school kids were already busy on the court. The kids, ranging from first to fourth-graders during the early sessions, were developing their skills with various coaches at the camp while waiting anxiously for their hometown hero to arrive.

The children’s eyes lit up when they saw the rising NBA star walk into the gym at Hoover High School. Seconds later, Green started showing off his vibrant personality, hitting the dance move affectionately known among the youngsters as the griddy.

After watching Green put up a few shots, the young hoopers followed their coaches and gathered in a circle on the court. Green then prepared to address his fans. Before he could speak, however, the youngsters showered him with love.

“Jalen! Jalen! Jalen!” they chanted.

Green’s special guests, Toronto Raptors star Scottie Barnes and Los Angeles Clippers guard Brandon Boston, hyped the crowd a little more, pumping their fists continuously while the chants echoed throughout the gym.

Later in the day, as older kids took their turn on the court, more NBA players arrived to support Green. This time it was Dallas Mavericks forward Christian Wood and Green’s teammate, Josh Christopher.

As the children once again gathered around the NBA players, Wood wrapped his arm around Green and led the group in another chant of “Jalen! Jalen! Jalen.”

The welcome back reception was reminiscent of the love Green would get when he was a standout hooper at San Joaquin Memorial High School.

This time, however, Green came back to his hometown feeling like a more mature version of that promising young basketball star he was as a teen. Just looking back at the past year, with a season of NBA experience under his belt, the Houston Rockets guard said he has come a long way on and off the court.

“I feel like I have become a lot more mature, handling myself with more and more maturity, ” the Central Valley native told Fresno Sports Magazine. “On the court, I’m learning the game a lot better, focusing on my body and just understanding the game.”

Barnes, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, testifies to the growth Green showed during the course of his rookie season.

“You can just see things started clicking for him,” Barnes said. “He’s getting better each time he steps on the court.”

Although it was a challenging season for the rebuilding Rockets, who finished 20-62, Green says his team will learn and grow from the challenge.

“We’re in a rebuild right now. We had a couple of games that slipped out of our hands, a couple blowouts. It’s all part of the learning experience,” he said.

The 20-year-old continued to speak candidly about his rookie season when he took questions from the children at the camp.

“How many games did you win in your whole career?” one girl asked.

“I had a terrible season last year,” Green replied, adding that his team was in a rebuilding year last season and he’s looking forward to the future.


When Green takes the court again next season, he’ll be ditching the No.0 and shifting to the No.4. That’s the number he wore in high school and in his lone year in the G-League. According to USA TODAY, the No.4 was not available when Green joined the Rockets because it belonged to veteran forward Danuel House Jr.

Now that House is no longer on the team, the former SJM Panther has officially retained his No.4.

“Oh man, it feels great,” Green said. “We had zero last year, we had some things we had to deal with. It’s all good now. It feels good to have my number back.”

Twelve months ago, when Green hosted his first annual camp in Fresno, he was still anxiously waiting to see what his rookie season would have in store. As it turned out, the rookie enjoyed some unforgettable moments throughout the season, despite the rough stretches.

Along with several ferocious dunks, Green came up with some dazzling performances in his rookie year. One of his top moments came in a matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, where he scored 32 points to help the Rockets win in overtime. In the season finale against the Atlanta Hawks, Green finished with a career-high 41 points.

The Fresno native wants to inspire the kids in any way possible, whether it’s with his performance on the court or with the adventures he enjoys outside of basketball.

Green embarked on one of his inspiring adventures in June when he participated in The Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring-Summer 2023 Fashion Show in Paris.

“Shout out to Louis Vuitton,” Green said. “I’m getting my foot in the door in fashion. It’s something I like, something I take pride in off the court.”

The young entrepreneur has apparently come a long ways, building his dreams in Fresno and making it all the way to Paris. But it looks like this is just the beginning for the California native, who plans to continue branding himself while doing things he enjoys.

“Find things you like,” he said, talking about the key to successful branding. “Don’t try to force yourself into something you don’t like.”

While Green continues to grow his game and entrepreneurial skills, his basketball camp for his hometown is also trending upward. The Fresno man, who was also joined by Bucks rookie MarJon Beauchamp at his camp, said this year’s event was way more organized and it had many more familiar faces.

“I think it’s way better than last year,” Green said, acknowledging the efforts of leaders such as Tezale Archie, Hoover’s boys basketball coach.

The children at the 2-day camp, ranging from elementary school kids to middle school students, walked away with lessons and memories they will never never. But there was one young man in particular who has become the talk of the nation after going one-on-one against Green.

Many of the biggest sports media platforms are now circulating footage of the young man blowing by Green and pulling off a deceptive pump fake before sinking a close-range shot on the NBA guard. The gym erupted when the boy pulled off the stunning move. But Green also celebrated with the rising star, smiling from ear to ear and carrying the boy on his shoulders while the rest of the kids continued to jump and scream with joy.

When the sun set on a summer Saturday in the Valley, Green and the rest of the NBA players returned to the Hoover gym for a private workout. Footage of the workout shows a sweat-soaked Green showing off his high-flying prowess and long-range ability while being defended by his NBA compatriots and other select hoopers.

The next day, Green would be back for Day 2 of his camp, giving the young ones some more wisdom and memories to take away.

In less than two months, the incoming sophomore will take the court with the Rockets again. And he’ll be eager to prove that this Jalen is ready to take the next step on and off the court.

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