Huntsman Post

A.C. Green Recounts “Pivotal” Points in Life that Have Led to His Success

A.C. Green earned the nickname Ironman in the NBA

By Connor Child

While A.C. Green was busy setting the record for most consecutive games played in NBA history, he had more on his mind than just basketball.

“When I got off the court from a practice or a game, I had other business things going,” Mr. Green said to an audience assembled at the Eccles Conference Center at Utah State University. “And I had other business interests that I was pursuing or inquiring about. I became a student of life and not just a student of the game (of basketball).”

Mr. Green was on campus to deliver a keynote address at the Principle-Centered Leadership Conference sponsored by Partners In Business and the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. The title of his lecture was, “The Importance of Entrepreneurship and Values.”

Green earned the nickname “Iron Man” for playing in 1,192 straight games from 1986 to 2001. He played an important role with the Los Angeles Lakers when they won consecutive NBA championships in 1987 and 1988, averaging 11.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in the two campaigns.

As successful as Mr. Green became in the NBA, he said it may never have happened if not for a “pivotal” encounter with an educator when he was a sophomore in high school. The educator, who was also the boy’s varsity basketball coach, pulled Mr. Green aside one day and talked to him about his potential. He told Mr. Green that he could be a star on the varsity basketball team, and if he changed his attitude around, he could even get a scholarship and go to college.

“Never, ever had anyone mentioned those words to me,” Mr. Green said. “Those were the motivating words that got me turned around. That was what I needed as a young man.”

Green said that his basketball career has afforded him the opportunity to start numerous other ventures that he is passionate about. He is the president and founder of the A.C. Green Youth Foundation, which focuses on supporting “green” initiatives in companies. Having a positive effect on the environment, he said, is something he feels strongly about.

“I love shrinking our carbon footprint, even though I have a size 18 shoe,” said the 6 ft. 9 in. Green. “’Going green with A.C. Green’ just has a ring to it.”

Numerous other prominent business leaders spoke at the conference. Several blog entries about the conference will be posted over the next few days. To read those postings, click here.