Jeff Green donates $1 million to Georgetown athletic department

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Yes, Celtics forward Jeff Green is playing on a four-year, $36.24 million contract.

But he also already missed an entire season due to heart surgery. And he’s in a career where income typically stops, even for healthy players, well before they reach 40.

That’s a long way of saying $1 million is a lot of money, even to Green.

With that established, Green donated $1 million to his alma mater yesterday.

Georgetown release:

On their birthday, many people expect to receive gifts. On Thursday, Aug. 28, former Georgetown University men’s basketball All-American Jeff Green (C’12), who turns 28-years-old today, announced that he will make a $1 million gift to the athletics department for the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center.

The building is named in honor of Hall of Fame Men’s Basketball Coach John Thompson Jr., who guided the Hoyas for 27 years and influenced generations both on and off the hardwood.

As a junior, Green led Georgetown to the Final Four in 2007 and was selected with the No. 5 pick in the National Basketball Association Draft. Determined to finish his degree, Green continued attending classes during the offseason. He earned his degree in English, with a minor in theology, from Georgetown in 2012.

“I’m very fortunate to be in a position to give back to the University and to the program that has done so much for me,” Green said. “The environment created by Coach (John) Thompson III and his staff helped shape me both academically and athletically. Georgetown and Georgetown Basketball is at my core and is part of who I am.

“Georgetown athletes are going to get the chance to work and develop in a world-class, state-of-the-art facility. The Thompson Athletics Center will be the best in the country.”

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Thompson Athletics Center is scheduled for September 12, 2014. Green’s contribution is part of the $62 million project that will be completely supported through philanthropy.

“This generous gift from Jeff will help to enhance the experience of many future Georgetown student-athletes,” Head Coach John Thompson II said. “Jeff’s commitment to our school and to our program speaks not only to his experiences as a student and an athlete here, but gives a small glimpse into who he is as a person. We’re very fortunate to have Jeff Green represent this institution.”

The four-story, 144,000-square-foot Thompson Athletics Center will be constructed adjacent to McDonough Arena and include practice courts, team meeting rooms, men’s and women’s basketball coaches’ offices, and weight-training and sports medicine rooms for all varsity athletes. The new facility also includes a Student-Athlete Academic and Leadership Center, an auditorium, team meeting facilities for varsity programs and a new venue for the Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame.

Good for Green for giving to a cause he deemed worthy. He can spend his money how he wants, and I’m sure he sees value in the university.

I’ll bite my tongue about the virtue of donating to a profit-generating entity like Georgetown Basketball, which – due to NCAA rules – doesn’t adequately adequately pay its employees (players) and therefore has extra money laying around.

But the idea of paying it forward to the next generation, especially when it’s through an institution that benefitted you? I can get behind that.