Iron Man A.C. Green – Waited Until Age 38April 22nd, 2010 by WTM.org Community
“Abstinence doesn’t really have anything to do with a person’s religious background. It’s about self-control . . . identifying your core values as a person.”
A.C. Green is unique in all of professional sports’ because he is famous for his athletic accomplishments and famous for the integrity and values underneath them. You never hear that about an athlete…how much integrity or character he has…it’s all about the performance, about the kind of game they play. About most athletes you hear “He’s got amazing skills! He’s a great player! A true sportsman! Oh yeah, so he has sex with anything that walks, 16 illegitimate children, and a cocaine habit, but who cares? Look how great he plays! Boys will be boys!”
Not so with A.C. Green. Google him. You will find as many links for “A.C. Green Iron Man” (the name he earned for his tremendous basketball career) as you will for “A.C. Green Abstinence” (the cause that defined his life in the public eye). He’s a true hero of waiting till marriage, and his story is worth a very close read, for sports fans and non sports fans alike.
Born: October 4th, 1963
Age 0: Born to car mechanic A.C. Green, Sr. and switchboard operator Leola Green, A.C. Green, Jr. is the youngest of four children. He is the only one to carry on the A.C. Green name from his father. Of this, his mother recalls: “He looked so much like his daddy that I said I’m going to name him A.C.”
Age 6-14: His older brother, Lee, takes him to the local park every day and terrorizes him on the basketball court. Of this, Lee later says “If it wasn’t for me taking him down to the park every day and putting it on him, he wouldn’t be where he is today. I shouldn’t play ball against him now because he’ll get his revenge. He might have flashbacks.”
Age 14: Starts playing basketball in High School.
Age 17: Named Oregon’s Player of the Year and a high school All-American. Leads his team, Benson Tech High School, to a state championship. Brags to teammates about invented sexual conquests to fit in (secretly he’s a virgin). Gets tons of attention from college scouts.
Age 18: During a sermon at his local church, entitled “Do you want to go to Heaven or Hell?”, the pastor asks members of the congregation to come forward and accept Christ. A.C. Green stays seated. The pastor calls again for more people to come up. Still, A.C. sits, brooding. On the third call, A.C. stands up, walks forward, and joins the others at the front to accept Christ. It is a moment that would forever define his life thereafter.
Age 19: Leads Oregon State Beavers to the final “Elite 8” appearance in NCAA tournament
Age 21: PAC-10 Player of the year
Age 22: Third-team all-American. Drafted by the NBA as the first round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers, who had just one the world championship the previous year.
Age 24: Plays alongside Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Shaquille O’Neal, Wins the NBA Championship with the L.A. Lakers. The other players tease him for his abstinence, try to throw girls at him to break his resolve. He holds strong and they grow to respect him.
Age 25: Selected by NBA coaches for the all-defensive second team (88-89). Wins the NBA Championship for the second year in a row.
Age 26: Establishes A.C. Green Youth Foundation, primarily to promote the cause of sexual abstinence.
Age 27: Voted by fans to the NBA All-Star team as the most adored forward in the game, beating out even the legendary Karl Monroe.
Age 28: Breaks club record for consecutive games played (575)
Age 30: Signs 5-year, $15 Million contract with the Pheonix Suns. Contract overshadowed in press by the controversy of him being abstinent in a sport famous for sexual promiscuity.
Age 33: Traded to Dallas Mavericks. Takes an elbow to the face during a game, knocking out two of his teeth teeth. Has emergency root canal surgery and returns to playing the next day.
Age 34: Breaks world record for consecutive NBA games played (907 games without missing one or sitting out), earning the nickname “Iron Man”. At the ceremony following the game, Dallas mayor Ron Kirk declares Nov 13-20 “A.C. Green Week” and pledges a $10,000 donation to the A.C. Youth Foundation. Baseball’s Iron Man Cal Ripkin, Jr. makes a guest appearance to present A.C. with an honorary Oriole’s jersey. And as a final honor, A.C. is presented with the game ball for his record-breaking commitment. “It was a great night”, he says. “I feel real honored.” He hugs his father and mother, who are standing beside him, and then hands the game ball to them.
Age 35: Plays 1000th consecutive game. Returns to the L.A. Lakers
Age 36: Returns to L.A. Lakers for a new several-million-dollar contract Wins the NBA Championship for the third time. In between plays he can be seen sitting on the sidelines with a stuffed green teddy bear sitting on top of his head. The bear’s stomach reads “I have the power”, and is a token from his A.C. Youth foundation for abstinence.
Age 37: Moves to the Miami Heat Retires from professional basketball, ending his consecutive games played streak at 1192 games, a record that many say will never be broken. Focuses his life on his A.C. Green Youth foundation. On his retirement, he tells the press “I’m at peace. That’s honestly how I feel. I thank God for the streak I had more than anything.”
Age 38: Marries Veronique Green. Embarks on a two-month-long honeymoon that includes stays in Fiji, Miami, The Caribbean, and Spain. Of his honeymoon, he says: “It’s been an incredible two months. Being married and all that comes with it is wonderful. It was worth the wait.”
Noteable quotes about waiting till marriage
The message of his youth foundation…
“The decisions you make today directly impact your tomorrow. Choose wisely, choose abstinence!”
On marriage and sex…
“Being married…and all that comes with it… is wonderful. It was worth the wait.”
Miami Heat teammate Anthony Mason on A.C. Green…
“You would think of [A.C.] as a goody-two-shoes from the outside looking in. It was something to make fun of when you weren’t there, but to see it up close, to see how his life has benefited, you realize that’s the way you’re supposed to live.”
On his teammates trying to break his resolve…
Initially his teammates in the NBA didn’t believe that he was waiting till marriage. Of this, A.C. says “But as time went on, when the guys saw some consistency to the way I was handling my life, they gradually came to accept it, to the point where some asked me to talk to sons and daughters”.
On the meaning of abstinence…
“[Abstinence] doesn’t really have anything to do with a person’s religious background. It’s about self-control . . . identifying your core values as a person.”
On his wife, Veronique…
“She’s exceptionally beautiful, and she has a great sense of character… She’s an accountant, she teaches dance and she’s a singer.” They were friends for four years before they started dating. “We were able to have fun together, to laugh together, struggle and cry together. We were able to develop a friendship before it became physical, before it was a sex interaction. Now, we’re committed – for life.”
- His first name is literally just the initials “A.C.” — the letters do not stand for anything.
- Suffered from chronic hiccups for most of his professional career. Only subsided when he was working out or exercising. Eventually overcame them.
- A.C. Green Youth Foundation (for abstinence):
- The best article of the lot: “Tiger Woods, meet A.C. Green”
- Teaching style (with kids) and personal history:
- Short bio:
- On just getting married:
- Yearly playing stats (NBA.com):
- Tons of quotes and info about his abstinence speeches, but kinda hard to read:
- On breaking the consecutive game streak: