Trenton's Andy Greene Is Big Time--But You Wouldn't Know It
While former Trojan superstar Andy Greene has gone onto a successful professional hockey career, the week of his first hockey school in his hometown shows just how down-to-earth he remains.
Born and raised Trenton native Andy Greene is now a millionaire, professional hockey player who should be spending his summers in Dubai and his nights on the Vegas strip. Apparently, Greene missed the memo.
"I just could not believe the excitement on their faces," was his interesting answer to what he felt was the biggest surprise of his first hockey school hosted at the Kennedy Recreation Center this week.
It's interesting because to most everyone else besides the impressively modest 5'11, 28-year-old hockey star, playing hockey with Andy Greene is a big deal.
He's Andy Greene for crying out loud.
He's the guy that all those campers daddys have probably told them stories about since the youngsters first put on skates. He's the 2001 Trenton High School alum who won the 2000 Mr. Hockey award given to the state's best high school hockey player. He's the guy that led the Trojans to two state titles. Now he's on Sportscenter.
"He's the most down-to-earth guy you'll ever meet," said Matt Tiesling, spokesperson for Greene's hockey school and head of client relations for Greene's agent.
"Most players that host a camp show up a little bit here and there and let everyone else run it," Tiesling said before pointing to Greene, in goal, trying to stop a tennis ball from of a six-year-old's slapshot. "Well there he is. He's been out there every session, all week long."
Greene certainly has the credentials of big time player who has better things to do than play tennis ball hockey with a bunch of kids.
The New Jersey Devils signed him to a four year, $12 million dollar deal in July. He played four years of college hockey and was an All-American at Miami (of Ohio) University, one of the most successful hockey programs in the NCAA. And of course, he is one of the brightest stars in a history of bright stars at Trenton High School, one of the most prestigious hockey schools in the state.
"What he does with this camp is really something," said Todd Watson, head coach of the Ontario Hockey League's Saginaw Spirit and primary instructor of Greene's camp. "This is a great school and people need to know about it, because the man just got a $12 million dollar deal. He's the real deal."
But, Patch finally got some dirt on the born and raised Trenton product Thursday morning. A story was going around his camp about how the "real deal" had a late night the previous evening. Yes, Greene had been partying. Not that kind of partying, though. He was partying with the campers.
"He was at a family from around here's house with a few campers and he was just hanging out," Tiesling said. "Answering questions, telling stories, laughing with the kids and their parents until like midnight...it was really cool."
"Trenton's always been really good to me, and it's nice to give back," Greene said. "I can relate to a lot of these kids because I've come from the same mold they have."