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The Statesman


Frisbee player Green wants to grow program into nation’s elite

James Green plays the role of handler on the field, and is the Ultimate Frisbee team's vice-president off the field. (PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK)
James Green plays the role of handler on the field, and is the Ultimate Frisbee team’s vice-president off the field. (PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK)

For James Green, Ultimate Frisbee is not just a sport—it’s a passion.

​The 19-year-old sophomore is currently pursuing a degree in computer science while serving as vice president of Stony Brook University’s very own Ultimate Frisbee team.

​Originally from Wantagh, N.Y., Green says his passion for Frisbee started in high school.

​However, it wasn’t the only sport that Green had a talent for.

​All throughout his academic career at Seaford High School, the computer science major ran cross-country and track, which he says Frisbee went hand-in-hand with.

​“My teammates and I would constantly just be throwing around a Frisbee for fun,” Green said. “I just got hooked.”

​During his cross-country and track run in high school, figuratively and literally, Green proved his athletic abilities by being a part of a county championship cross-country team in 2010 and winning the all-division cross-country runner in Nassau County of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

​After graduating from high school, Green decided that he didn’t want to run during his college years at Stony Brook.

​Green joined the team the first semester of his freshman year after emailing and getting in contact with last year’s president and this year’s current captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team, Harrison Greene.

​Why Ultimate Frisbee?

​“It’s the style of play that makes it special,” said Green. “It’s an entirely new type of game, where there are no officials or referees.”

​And new it is. The Ultimate Frisbee team at Stony Brook is relatively new, at only seven years old, whereas the sport itself, on the college level, dates back to 1972, when its first college game was played between Rutgers and Princeton.

​Green noted that the game is very vigorous and physically demanding.

​“You have to be agile like a soccer player and fast like a track runner, which helps because of my running background,” he said.

​Green’s position on the team is handler, which involves doing most of the throwing during the game and directing the offense.

​However, the 19-year-old makes sure to note that a successful game is all up to team effort.

​“All seven players on the field have to contribute for the team to do well,” Green said. “It’s not just up to one or two players.”

​Green says a large part of his success in the sport and on the team is due to captain Alex Stokes, who mentored him during the start of his freshman year.

​“Stokes taught me how to be a better player essentially,” he explained. “He helped a lot with my throwing, awareness of what’s going on the field, and helped with my confidence and performance as an athlete.”

​At the end of his freshman year, Green saw that all of the e-board members of the team were graduating, which gave him the opportunity to run for a position and become vice president.

​“I wanted to improve the team, because I see the potential that they have,” said Green.

​During his remaining years at Stony Brook, Green wants to take the team to a nationally ranked level. The Ultimate Frisbee team has made it to the regional competition once before, and has hopes of making it in again this year.

​After he graduates from college, the computer science major wants to become a software analyst. Pertaining to his sport, Green plans to play at the club level with USA Ultimate, which is the national association for the sport of Ultimate Frisbee.

​This summer, Green plans on trying out for some local teams, including LID and 7 Express.

​Green noted that some people often doubt the legitimacy of Ultimate Frisbee as a real sport. However, the vice president of the team made it a point to clear up any misconceptions.

​“I want people to know that the players are athletic, it’s an intense sport and it’s physically demanding,” Green said.

​Recently, USAU has reached a deal with ESPN 3 to broadcast games of national Ultimate Frisbee games, which Green says he’s excited about.

​What’s next for the vice president? Sectionals are this weekend, and a win could lead Stony Brook to the regional competition.

​“I love seeing us grow,” said Green. “And I believe I have the passion that’s necessary to bring this team to a whole new level.”


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    CollinApr 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Note: We did make it to regionals!