Packers' Green fulfilled graduation promise
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Green Bay News Chronicle
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Sports Writer
Pro Bowl running back Ahman Green of the Green Bay Packers fulfilled a promise he made to his parents and himself Saturday when he receives his diploma from the University of Nebraska.
Green was 73 credits shy of his geography degree when he turned pro in 1998 after his junior season with the Cornhuskers. He was drafted by Seattle in the third round.
He took correspondence courses during his two seasons in Seattle and attended the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in the offseason after he was traded to the Packers in 2000.
He finished his coursework last summer in Lincoln, Neb.
"A lot of guys make it to the NFL and say, 'OK, I'm successful. I don't have to get my degree,'" Green said Thursday. "This is something I can always use at any time, and I can use it as a tool to help shape my kids and my younger family members.
"I can say, I'm successful at my sport, but I've also got a degree to fall back on."
Green said he never was tempted to break his promise of graduating even after signing a lucrative contract two years ago.
"I just know I wanted to beat Shaq. It took him eight years. It took me five years," he said.
Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal received his diploma from LSU in 2001 after leaving school early for the NBA in 1992.
Green, an All-American at North High School in Omaha, Neb., said he always saw football as a means to get an education.
"A goal of mine as a kid was to go to college not only to play football but to get a degree. Football was extra, a bonus, a way to get a scholarship," he said.
"So, I told myself if I leave, my main intention is to finish up and be able to say I got my degree."
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