Josh Green is just 18 years old, but he's already a bit of a basketball vagabond.
Four years ago, Green and his family moved from his native Sydney, Australia, to Arizona, where he played his first two seasons of high school basketball and competed on a top traveling club team. Last year, he transferred to IMG Academy, an internationally acclaimed sports training facility and boarding school on Florida's Gulf Coast.
To be clear, the No. 9 high school recruit in the United States, according to ESPN.com's rankings, isn't a clone of any one of those players. Green is a 6-foot-6, 206-pound shooting guard with all-around skills. He can drive to the hoop or shoot from outside. He can push the ball upcourt and direct traffic or finish a fast break with a dunk. On defense, he can use his wingspan to clog passing lanes or use his quick hands to create turnovers.
He's his own man.
"I don't really pattern my game after anyone else. My goal is just to be me," Green said. "I love to get in transition and either score or make plays. It's a team game, so I love to make plays and get my teammates involved."
Green comes from a basketball family. Both his father, Delmas, and mother, Cahla, played professionally in Australia. Older brother Jay plays at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Young brother Ky is a rising recruit in the Class of 2023. Josh has signed with the University of Arizona, located about 100 miles south of his family's Phoenix-area home.
Although Green has been in the United States four years, he remains unabashedly Australian. He retains his accent, and he's fiercely proud of his Sydney roots. Even at age 18, he considers the influence he might wield someday and hopes to be someone who inspires young players back home.
"I don't really pattern my game after anyone else. My goal is just to be me...It's a team game, so I love to make plays and get my teammates involved." Josh Green
"My goal is to represent Australia and show up-and-coming kids that anything is possible," Green said. "I never thought I would have the opportunities I have now, so I just want to make sure I take everything the right way and make the most of the opportunities that have been given to me."
Last year, Green represented Australia at two of the top showcases for elite international youth prospects -- the NBA Basketball Without Borders camp in Los Angeles and the NBA Global Camp in Treviso, Italy. He also competed at the acclaimed Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Oregon, where he played as a member of Team World against Team USA.
"It means a lot, just looking down and having 'Australia' on my chest," Green said of playing for Team World. "It's who I am and where I'm from. I've been in America for the last four years of my life, but I'm still all-in for Australia."
Not surprisingly, Green is looking forward to the day when he finally gets to put on the green and gold uniform of the Australian national team. He was poised to join the Boomers for FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Melbourne late last year, but a torn labrum in his right shoulder prevented him from making his debut for the squad.
The pinnacle of international competition, of course, is the Olympics. Without getting too far ahead of himself, he has considered what it would mean to be selected to compete for Australia at the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
"Obviously, it's a really big goal," Green said. "But at the same time, I feel like it's doable. There's a lot of talent in Australia, but I'm willing to put in the work to be able to make that team and be able to play with some of the greatest players in Australia.
Just as Green said he enjoys playing in transition, IMG head coach Sean McAloon agrees that Green is at his best when wheeling and dealing on the run.
"He's the best transition player I've ever been around -- absolutely unbelievable," McAloon said. "People don't realize that he's a really good passer. He sees things that other people don't see."
To wit, Green said he derives as much satisfaction getting assists on the fast break as he does padding his scoring average of 15.5 points per game. It doesn't hurt that he gets to feed the ball to two elite frontcourt players in Armando Bacot and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. Bacot, ranked No. 18 in the 2019 ESPN 100, will play at North Carolina next season, and Robinson-Earl, ranked No. 39, is headed to Villanova.
"I feel like I've got two of the best bigs in the nation," Green said. "Might as well use them to my advantage."
"I think that says a lot about him," IMG assistant coach Trey Draper said of Green's assists. "Josh puts winning first, and that says a lot about his character."
The season schedule is ramping up for Green and IMG as the Ascenders (21-1) aim for the national high school championship tournament March 29-31 in New York. IMG plays national power Oak Hill Academy on Sunday (ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET). IMG's trio of top recruits will face a similarly talented pair from Oak Hill in guard Cole Anthony (No. 2 in ESPN top 100) and center Kofi Cockburn (No. 32).
Last weekend, IMG played host to a four-team showcase featuring out-of-state opponents. The Ascenders defeated The Patrick School (Hillside, New Jersey) 86-74 and eased past Riverdale Baptist School (Upper Marlboro, Maryland) 74-44.
Green scored 20 points against The Patrick School in a game that allowed him to match up against Clemson-bound point guard Al-Amir Dawes (No. 98). At one point, Green drove into the lane against Dawes and muscled past the smaller guard. Green would later catch Dawes leaning the wrong way on the perimeter, burst past him and finish with a scoop shot in front of the hoop.
But it was Green's defense that impressed McAloon. A prime example came just before halftime, when Green anticipated a cross-court pass, intercepted the ball and glided down the court for an uncontested layup.
"Offensively, I thought he was good," McAloon said. "But defensively, I thought it was one of his best games."
Afterward, Green explained it was a culmination of recent practices and film study. McAloon asked for more from the Aussie prospect on the defensive end, and he focused on defensive positioning while reviewing game video.
"Obviously, there's still work that I need to put in, but I feel like it's a good progression," Green said.
If Green continues to improve at his current rate, he will be poised to make an impact next season at Arizona.
Riverdale head coach Travis Lyons, an assistant at IMG Academy last year, is in a good position to assess that progress. Although Green scored just 10 points against Riverdale, as the Ascenders used more players off the bench, Lyons came away impressed.
"Josh has really improved in all facets of his game -- defensively, driving the basketball and especially shooting the basketball," Lyons said. "He's really increased his range, and he's shooting the ball consistently. He's made tremendous strides in all areas. He's constantly gotten better since the day he walked in here."