At 6 feet, 7 inches, former Lobo point guard Hunter Greene is hard to miss. Greene played basketball at UNM from 1983 to 1988, under head coach Gary Colson, getting redshirted in the 1985-1986 season.
“It definitely helps to have the height,” Greene said. “I think that’s probably what got me attracted to basketball was my height.”
Greene did well on UNM’s team, and said that he thoroughly enjoyed his time there.
“I wanted basketball to last longer,” he said. “I graduated as the all-time leading scorer.”
From there Greene said he felt that he had to give the NBA a shot and tried out for the Los Angeles Lakers.
At that time he said that trying out consisted of participating in a summer league, and at the end the team would invite people to the "veteran’s camp” if they wanted to keep a player. While Greene made it into the summer league, he said they did not invite him to stay.
Instead he went on to play basketball in France and Belgium.
“Basketball was fairly new in France back when I played in '88," he said. Greene said he went from playing in front of 18,000 people at the Pit to playing in front of 600 to 800 people in France ,which was an adjustment.
Greene stayed for a season playing in Europe but said, “I didn’t see a path to the NBA once I went to Europe.”
He came back and decided that he wanted to be a businessman, which he said is something he has always had an interest in doing.
“I’ve always worked, since the age of 14," Greene said. “I just couldn’t when I was playing college basketball.”
Greene said the NCAA rules made it tough for athletes like himself who had a strong entrepreneurial drive, because athletes are not allowed to work or be paid.
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“I even went to coach Colson and asked him if I could give him my scholarship so I could start my business back when I was in college,” Greene said.
However, he said there was no way to do this under the system that the NCAA has in place.
“Right now it’s not an equitable situation for the college athlete,” Greene said. “Quite honestly, guys are probably working in their sport 50 or 60 hours a week and in exchange they get tuition paid for and room and board, but a guy like me could make more money and pay for my college.”
Greene started working in sales at Digital Equipment Corporation, where he stayed for about five years. During that time he said he learned a lot about sales and also started dabbling in real estate investments.
When that job finally ended, Greene said he told himself, “I like real estate, and I like sales so why not do commercial real estate?"
He then went to work at CB Commercial where he stayed for almost 19 years. He currently works for SVN Walt Arnold Commercial Brokerage, Inc. where he is a senior advisor.
Despite not playing sports professionally, Greene says he remained interested in UNM athletics. Eventually, around the time of Steve Alford’s second year as coach, he said he had an opportunity to start doing color commentary for the Lobos, initially during the preseason.
“What I like about it is it keeps me close to the game and close to the UNM basketball team,” Greene said.
He also shared a bit of advice: “Follow your dream and see how far that will take you. If it’s any kind of sports or even arts, whatever it is. Follow your passion and that’s where you’ll find yourself being the happiest,” he said.
Aaron Cowan is a volunteer sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers volleyball and men's and women's golf. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AaronTCowan.