By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky signee Blair Green of Harlan County has “no regrets” over her senior season where she averaged 25.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and shot 58.9 percent from the field, including 35.3 percent from 3-point range, and 85 percent (162 of 191) at the foul line in 31 games.
Harlan County won the 13th Region and had an 18-game win streak snapped in a state tournament loss to George Rogers Clark.
Harlan County lost its starting center to a knee injury early in the season and that sometimes forced Green to have to do more.
“It was amazing after losing a player to get to the state tournament and help bring us together,” Green said. “Usually I am not a one-person show. I could count on my teammates. I had to work hard and put my team on my back at times but they also did just as much as I did and they would give me the ball so I could score.”
She was 13th Region Player of the Year and a Miss Basketball candidate. She was one of the players honored by the Kentucky Lions Club Eye Foundation at an awards dinner last week.
“It’s an experience not everybody gets,” Green said. “Sometimes we all get to see each other but most of the time it is with a jersey on. This was fun and different to see everybody dressed up and just relaxed.”
She signed early with Kentucky and said UK’s losing season did not worry her.
“I am proud to be going there and we don’t want that to happen again. That’s just going to make us work harder for next year,” Green, who will get to UK in mid-June, said.
She wasn’t surprised that her life-long friend, UK junior Maci Morris, had a big season for coach Matthew Mitchell’s team.
“She has always been a leader and always stepped up at times when her team needed her. It didn’t surprise me at all what she did this year. That’s just what she does,” Green said. “It will help me a lot having her there but she will definitely push me to be the best I can be. She will be like a big sister and that will be amazing, but she won’t take it easy on me.”
She talks frequently with Mitchell and said he’s excited about the new players the team will be adding.
“He’s excited about all of us getting there because he knows we are determined to help the team get better,” Green said. “I know I am. It means more to Kentucky girls to play for Kentucky. It’s just in our heart. We just work hard and get after.”
Green scored 3,193 points in her career and also had 1,102 rebounds, 601 assist, 306 steals and 332 blocks. She finished as the 11th all-time leading scorer in Kentucky.
She missed six games her eighth grade year with a knee injury — which turned out to be a torn meniscus that she played half the season without knowing it. She missed another nine games her freshman year when she hyperextended the same knee. If she had not missed those 15 games, her career numbers would have been even more mind-boggling.