Because it’s unlikely that a member of the Sacramento Kings is ever going to get any media attention for something they did on a basketball court, rookie forward Donte Greene decided that he needed to make a splash off the court.
And make a splash he did. During Memorial Day weekend, Donte jumped into the American River near Sacramento to save a woman who had fallen off of her boat and couldn’t swim. Greene let the world know about his heroics via Twitter (of course), but genuinely seems humble about the whole thing. Greene used to be a lifeguard and said that his instincts just kicked in when he saw the woman struggling in the water.
As an NBA player, Greene was bad this year even by Sacramento’s standards. He was even demoted to the NBDL for a while. For his rookie season, the former Syracuse star only shot 32.6% from the field and averaged 3.5 points. And yes, he was one of the “key” players traded to the Kings for Ron Artest.
Luckily, he has some useful skills to fall back on. Greene told KHTK in Sacramento (via SPORTS RADIO INTERVIEWS) what went through his mind when he saw the woman fall from the boat:
“I didn’t even think about it, it was just instinct. You see somebody in a position and you know you can help them out. The water, I’m not even gonna lie, was freezing, freezing cold, but I was hot anyway so the water cooled me off, so that was good… It was just something that happened.”
Syracuse fans, who are still waiting for Greene to get back on defense, wish his instincts would’ve kicked in when he saw an opposing player heading to the rim.
FANHOUSE’s Will Brinson makes a good point that deeds like this too often go unnoticed by the mainstream media:
And, of course, he Tweeted about it. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this was anything remotely resembling hubris: as he said later in an interview (the same one from above), it was “just instinct.” And, man, I’ll tell you what; the humility and the bravery that Green flashed throughout this whole process is a prime example of actions by athletes that needs more attention in this world filled with
Brett Favreselfish media hogs.
Greene actually put himself in harm’s way, too, as he says that he and the woman were nearly hit by another boat as he was pulling her to safety. It’s one of those things that we all like to say we would’ve done without hesitation, but it’s another thing to be in the situation and act quickly and decisively enough to make a difference.
Now, if Donte could only learn how to knock down an open jumper, maybe he can avoid having to go back ino the lifeguarding business full-time. At least the Maloofs have a nice pool Greene could work at.