Vicksburg High baseball player Chris Green signs with Southern University-New Orleans

Published 12:27 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

Chris Green has worked long and hard to become a good baseball player, to the point that he says it almost feels effortless now.

“I’m a hard worker. I know I’ve got the basics down. My I.Q. is there,” Green said. “It just comes natural. When you’ve been doing something so long it’s like walking or breathing. It just came natural to me when I was there. It’s like I always do this.”

He’s not stopping any time soon, either. The Vicksburg High senior committed to play at Southern University-New Orleans last week, and on Friday made it official by signing his national letter of intent during a ceremony with family, teammates and coaches.

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“As an athlete, that’s always something that’s in your mind. At some point every athlete thinks, ‘What am I going to do after high school? Am I going to play? Am I going to go to school? Am I going to be a regular student?” Green said. “It’s a blessing from God to keep going and be an athlete, and keep doing what I love, and have another opportunity to be something else.”

Green, a shortstop and pitcher, batted .383 in 2023, and .313 this year with 12 RBIs and 13 runs scored. He also had 63 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched over the past two seasons. He signed with SUNO as a shortstop.

Mostly, though, he said it’s his experience as much as his skill that is his greatest asset. Green has been a starter since he was in seventh grade and is not intimidated being on the field with more veteran players.

“I don’t even look at it as, ‘I’ve been playing since seventh grade.’ When I was in seventh grade I didn’t look at it as I’m a seventh-grader on the field with 12th-graders.’ I just looked at it as I’m a dog on the field with some more dogs,” Green said. “Now when I go to college I’m not going to think of it as I’m with college students. They’re here with me.”

Green’s initial contact with SUNO came through connections from Vicksburg High coach Kent Willis, but he quickly created the opportunity for himself with a good workout.

“I went up there and worked out for them and they really liked me a lot. They immediately wanted me to come up there. They gave me a tour of the school,” Green said. “Ever since I was young I told my mom I was going to be the first kid to get out of Mississippi. The first time I saw it, it was a no-brainer.”

Nearly a dozen family members, most of them wearing powder blue and gold SUNO T-shirts, joined Green as he signed his letter of intent. He thanked them for their support not only in that moment, but for the years leading up to it.

“I want to thank God. I want to thank my family,” he said. “I want to give a big shout-out to my dad for being there with me all the years, coaching me, making sure I had the right opportunities to be in the right places and be around the right people. I just love my family as well.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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