After Pro Ball, He Helps Others Improve Lives, Pursue Dreams
One in a continuing series
When a patient of his is feeling disheartened – a routine occurrence in a residential mental health treatment facility – Anthony Green often suggests an activity to improve their mood. Sometimes, it’s a game of hoops.
Winning the game isn’t the point, and, in any case, it wouldn’t be fair. Because Green –now a behavioral health associate at Einstein Healthcare Network’s Long Term Structured Residence in Germantown – is a former professional basketball player.
Green played point guard in professional overseas leagues in Austria, Sweden and Hungary until an injury ended his career. He went to junior college on a basketball scholarship and played Division I basketball at Binghamton University.
“It was an amazing experience,” he says of his years as a pro athlete. “So many things that happened to me I carry with me to this day.”
A Keeper of the Dream
Green’s athletic career may be behind him, but the joy of living his dream has imbued him with a positivity that he brings to patients – one of the reasons he was selected to win an Einstein Keeper of the Dream award in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“At times, he has truly felt like a guardian angel for both employees and the communities we serve,” said a coworker, therapist Alexa Rodriguez, who nominated Green for the award. “Anthony commits to improving the lives of all those around him.”
Green has had personal experience improving lives, beginning with his own. At the age of 5 he decided he could no longer live with his mother, who was struggling with drug addiction.
“My aunt used to come and get me on weekends,” he says. “One day I said, ‘I’m not going back.’ It was unlivable. Some days there were no lights, no hot water. Sometimes there was no food.”
His aunt stressed the value of education. His uncle took him to Belfield Playground, not far from Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, where he played his first basketball game at the age of 10.
Indeed, he was born at Einstein and “now I own a house at 15th and Chew, which is around the corner,” he says.
Green lived with his aunt and uncle for five years, then another aunt, then an older cousin and eventually went home when his mother stopped using drugs.
Compassion for All
Despite the instability he endured, Green is compassionate towards his mother. “She was always nice and kind, even when she was using drugs,” he says. Green brings that same generosity of spirit to his work.
“My role is to assist my patients develop the skills necessary to be productive in society,” he says of his job helping patients transition into assisted or independent living. “I go about doing that by being as positive as I can be and as consistent and understanding.”
“The thing is, you’ve always got to be positive. If you work on it, and that’s what you want to do, then you do it.”
Green’s discipline is physical as well as emotional. “Five out of seven days, I’m up at 3 a.m., I soak in an Epsom salt bath and then I meditate for 25 minutes,” he says.
“I take a cold shower and go to the gym from 4 to 6 a.m.. After that, I come home, help my oldest daughter and my wife get ready for the day, and then I come to work from 7 to 3:30 most days.”
Speaking of his family, Green says no story about him is complete without mentioning them by name: his wife, Letour, the “love of my life;” son Anthony 3rd; daughters Aiyanna, Aliyah and Aspen; and his granddaughter, Mialee. He works at being a role model and creating a legacy for them to admire.
Green’s private life revolves around his family these days, not sports. But every now and then, when it helps a patient in crisis, he still gets to play basketball.