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Iron Man A.C. Green – Waited Until Age 38

April 22nd, 2010 by

“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.”

Other facts:


Photo Credits

35 Responses to “Iron Man A.C. Green – Waited Until Age 38”

  1. Samantha says:

    God Bless him, and his wife.
    Thats amazing story and what I needed to hear today

  2. Pavan says:

    Im a basketball player and it’s very hard to stay a virgin, but he gives me hope

  3. Andi says:

    that’s a truly inspiration story. i wounder what he said to his teammates sons and daughters?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Congrats AC

  5. Anonymous says:

    “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!'”

    Wow. Could this be any more racist?

  6. Mike says:

    @Anonymous – Projecting much? My point was that AC Green is uniquely famous for his off-court integrity, whereas that’s often an irrelevant detail when it comes to pro athletes (for some fans, any off-field behavior is rationalizable in context of playing ability). I also don’t think it’s hugely outlandish to stereotype pro athletes (of all colors) as promiscuous and impulsive in their personal lives. Maybe a little unfair to athletes, but I didn’t have race in mind when I wrote it.

    If you want to call me out on ignoring the hard work and vision it takes to become a pro athelete with that one exaggerated sentence, you might have a point. But calling it racist is a little bit of stretch.

  7. ThatGuy says:


    I’m Black and I do a lot of work with Mike. I can tell you that you are completely off in your ridiculous accusation. It’s because of people like you, people that cry racism every time someone breathes, that some people don’t take racism seriously anymore.

    Unfortunately, many athletes do have trashy sub-par personal lives, and people like you don’t care and/or turn their heads in the other direction.

    If Mike were racist why in the world would he do an article on AC Green in the first place?! Doesn’t make sense.

    Thank you for your time.

  8. C wade says:

    So what’s A C doing now? Did he ans Veronique have kids? Anyone know?

  9. […] We’re now pulling into the parking lot of the Staples Center, home of the Lakers. Wow, there’s a couple of retired Lakers, Rick Fox and A.C. Green, standing next to the Bentley. It’s amazing Fox still shows up in this city since he cheated on Vanessa Williams. I mean who trades in the former Miss Universe for Eliza Dushku anyway? The former Dancing with the Stars’ contestant  could use a little advice from Green, the only NBA player ever to retire still a virgin. […]

  10. Rl says:

    Great article but he didn’t play with Shaq till later in life not when he was 25 as stated above

  11. Mike says:

    @RI – Thanks for that tip! Will look into that and update the article. Do you know offhand when he played with Shaq?

  12. RR says:

    Shaq and AC played together in the 99-00 season, when Green rejoined the Lakers.

    Shaq wasn’t even in the NBA until 1992, and didn’t join the Lakers until 1996.

    In truth, his playing with Shaq wasn’t really a career highlight – Green was past his prime and soon to retire.

    Excellent article, Green is an inspiration for sure.

  13. T.G. says:

    A man with true convictions on and off the court…

  14. Bonni says:

    He spoke at my church today ( Real Life Church in Santa Clarita) and we were all in awe of his strength and convictions.
    He is an amazing man and role model.

  15. Bitto kawen says:

    AC Green is a role model for this generation I wish him a happy married life

  16. Bob says:

    to each his own, wasn’t for me I feel he lost some of his best years. but that’s his life

  17. Bob says:

    be careful when you try to understand someone else’s relationship.Rick Fox and Vanessa Williams may not have made bells ring

  18. Kenneth smith says:

    It took me 3 times to wait to be obediant to GOD and that was the best decision that I made 12 years ago. What a blessing. I believe that the world would be a better place for all.Because decisions would be made after prayers are made When both husband & wife are with God all is better and trouble becomes no trouble. GLORY BE TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST.

  19. […] A.C. Green has left an indelible mark on sports history winning three NBA championships with the world-class Los Angeles Lakers and earning the name of NBA Iron Man for his record-setting string of consecutive games played.  His athletic prowess not only allowed him to command the sport, but placed him on the list of basketball greats. […]

  20. […] think I’m more impressed with the fact the deeply religious man waited until the age of 38 to finally lose his virginity. Now THAT’S an iron man streak! Green’s foundation promotes abstinence before marriage and he […]

  21. person says:

    WHAT ARE HIS SIBLINGS NAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I KNOW ONLY LEE!! WHO ELSE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  22. Min. Joshua L Smith says:

    Love this guy and respect him so much for sticking to his guns, and being true to what he believed. I only wish this article had a facebook connection, so I could put it on my page.

  23. scott says:

    Who is Karl Monroe? Do you mean Karl Malone?

  24. scott says:

    Waiting till marriage is fine. But are the women still going to walk around in stretch pants and skin-tight shirts? If so, the celibacy/waiting goal is not realistic.

  25. Shut Up Morons says:

    this guy if f*cking awesome. that’s all i can say. kirk cameron brought me here…

  26. Christi Luv says:

    I LOVE IT LOL!!! AWESOME!! <3 <3 <3

  27. Jason Martin says:

    I still haven’t had sex. Im waiting until I’m 14.


    I really blessed with your life A.c i am also a Christian i will pray for your foundation. God bless

  29. Faye says:

    Thanks for this website-when I was growing up, our family never spoke about sex or waiting until marriage. There were no classes in school, nor was this spoken about in the two different churches my parents attended. Recently my 20 year old son and I were talking about relationships. I told him that I wished my parents (or someone) had spoken to me about waiting until marriage. I truly believe that by waiting….trust is developed between friends. Trust is the key element in a marriage if it is to survive….to be able to trust God in all that I do has been a skill that I have had to develop over time (with hard work). I hope my words make a difference in someone’s life so they may be happy, joyous in God’s love.

  30. John D. Wologo says:

    I teach Abstinence/Silver Ring Thing to Churches and Communities Youth in Liberia, West Africa.
    Coverage lessons are: Bare Essential, Game Plan (A.C. Green), Navigator and Excel. We have many worth waiters also at orphanage foundations.
    We love your vision that has impact on teens.
    Connect us through: and we will sent you most of on going teaching update.

    Happy New year:
    John D. Wologo

  31. […] abstinent before marriage, and to postponing marriage until after his NBA career was over, Green waited until age 38 before marrying his longtime girlfriend. Despite reports of fellow teammates like Earvin […]

  32. Kc says:

    I’m a virgin and I’m waiting until marriage too a.c. green is a leader like me

  33. Pam says:

    With God, all things are possible.
    32 years that I have not had sex (58) since my Divorce.
    I tell the young People around me that they can start over and still have men (born a Woman) Friends to hang out with.
    It Is called “platonic” — I respect God, me and the man.

  34. […] Iron Man A.C. Green – Waited Until Age 38 … – A.C. Green is a world-famous pro basketball player who took the cause of waiting till marriage and turned it into a personal calling. […]

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