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Nationally Ranked

NCAA Recognizes Sophomore


02/19/2009

The eyes of the NCAA are on MCLA basketball player Jon Greenberg '11 of Cape Cod, who recently was ranked eighth in the nation for rebounding, with an average of 11.5 rebounds per game. Not bad for a kid who grew up in Belgium and never played basketball until his sophomore year of high school. MCLA is one of more than 400 teams that compete in basketball at the Division III level.

"I had no idea I was in the running," Greenberg said. "It was surprising, but exciting, too." 

Greenberg, who is 6'6", spent his youth in Belgium before his father brought the family back to the Commonwealth. "I didn't even hear of basketball until I came over here," he said. "My friends told me, 'You're wasting your height, so I started playing, but I was terrible. I worked on it every day until I got better.  It takes more than height to succeed."

Greenberg, 21, only played three games in high school. "I never had time for sports because I was always working," he said.

After high school, Greenberg, a business major, almost didn't consider college, but the opportunity to play basketball appealed to him. He heard about MCLA through one of his high school basketball coaches.

"I'd been looking for a smaller school. I visited once in the summer before I came here and really liked the atmosphere and everyone on the team," Greenberg said. "I thought I'd have a good opportunity to play."

He describes the relationship he has with his teammates as a "brotherhood."

"We all look out for each other. You become really good friends with everyone. That draws people here," Greenberg said. "I think anybody who's looking for an environment where they can come in right away and have a group of people who will make sure they have everything they need will find that here. The members of the basketball team are here for you. There's camaraderie."

He is quick to give credit to the other players for his success. "Everyone has to play defense in order for me to get the rebound. It's definitely not an individual thing," he said.

Jamie Morrison, head basketball coach at MCLA said, "Jon is a tremendously hard worker, a good student and an excellent leader for this team. He practices and plays with a passion and intensity that is tough to match. His offensive game is still a little raw, but he has showed great improvement in just one year and if he can put it all together, it will be scary to see what he is capable of."

Greenberg is talking to Morrison about the possibility of playing professional basketball after he completes his degree. "It's early, but I have the dream to go back overseas and play there."