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April 11, 2012- - Auburn's fifth member of the 2012 basketball recruiting class is set to sign with head coach Tony Barbee and the Tigers.
IMG Academy (Fla.) combo guard Brian Greene Jr. will ink with Auburn at a ceremony at IMG on Wednesday. Greene, Jr., originally from Chicago, Ill., took the chance in attending IMG after high school and turning down offers from smaller schools.
"I'm excited for it. It's long been a dream to play college basketball at the highest level. Just knowing that I'm a step closer to where I want to be and I'm a part of a family. I'm really excited to officially become a part of Auburn."
The 6-foot-3, 200 pound Greene, Jr. wanted to elevate his game and earn the opportunity to play big-time college basketball. That gamble has officially payed off.
"My dad always told me hard work pays off, you can't overlook hard work. I knew that one year of developing would help, I never doubted it even though some people doubted me," Greene, Jr. said. "I knew I wanted to play big-time basketball."
Greene, Jr. will make the second signee from Chicago for Auburn athletics in the past two months. The other is football signee Jordan Diamond.
And Greene, Jr. and Diamond have more than being from the same city in common. They are in fact cousins, growing up just houses apart.
"It's ironic, from the same block, and both going to the SEC for the same school. Playing two of the biggest sports. It's a really different type of excitement, it probably won't hit me until we both get down there and we're making that impact," Greene, Jr. said.
Diamond remembers the two playing in basketball tournaments when they were younger, saying, "we've both come a long way, I'm proud of him and we're going down there trying to establish ourselves down south. We're like brothers."
When Diamond's recruiting process began, Greene, Jr. said they had talks about being a package deal. When Auburn finally reached out to Greene, Jr. one month following Diamond signing with the football program, playing together became a reality.
Diamond told Greene, Jr. when he was preparing for his March visit, he would "love" it. Greene, Jr. apparently did, pledging to Auburn before leaving.
"It felt like a home environment, it's what I wanted in a university," he said.
Now Greene, Jr. and Diamond's combined families can trek to watch the pair of family members represent their block in Chicago on the Plains of Auburn.
And when football season starts, Greene, Jr. will be right there in the Georgia Dome cheering on Diamond and the Tigers against Clemson, and Greene, Jr. expects Diamond to do the same at Auburn Arena next season.
"I'm going to try and make it to every football game, and I'm pretty sure he'll be at all the basketball games," Greene, Jr. said.
Greene, Jr. is currently working out at IMG right now in preparation for arriving on campus at Auburn on May 14 for the first session of summer school. The excitement of being only a month away from practicing with his future teammates is hard to contain.
"I can't wait for the first practice," Greene, Jr. said. "I'm excited about getting started."
Greene Jr. averaged 15.5 points, four assists, and five rebounds per game his one season at IMG Academy.
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