Sunday, May 29, 2016

Greene hailed as hero

Kansas guard Brannen Greene, second from left, is congratulated by teammates after a three during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Brannen Greene, second from left, is congratulated by teammates after a three during the second half, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2016 at Allen Fieldhouse.


A driver for a ride-sharing service, who lives in Yonkers, N.Y., says he would not be alive today if not for former Kansas University basketball player Brannen Greene.

“He is my hero. He saved my life. When I speak to him I will say, ‘Thank you so much. I thank God and thank you,’’’ said Henry Moran, the Uber driver who, with Greene as a passenger in the back seat, had his vehicle rear-ended on May 21 at Major Deegan Expressway, Bronx, N.Y., and 233rd St.

Moran’s car was sent airborne onto a guardrail, back up in the air and down again, where it eventually burst into flames shortly after Greene and Moran exited the totaled car.

“If he doesn’t help me I could not have made it out,” Moran added in a phone interview with the Journal-World. “He (Greene) was screaming, ‘Get out. Get out! Cmon it’s on fire. It will be exploding.’

“I couldn’t get out. The doors were crushed,” Moran added. “He (Greene) was able to get out (after frantically removing his seat belt in a scene explained in a J-W story at the Web address “I got out because he helped me out from the back. After I got out, we were running together. I heard, ‘Boom, boom,’’’ Moran added of the car igniting in flames.

Driver Moran, whose head and arms were bleeding, was taken to the hospital for observation. He had minor injuries. Greene, a 6-7 junior from Juliette, Ga., who left KU for New York after the 2015-16 season ended to train for the June 23 NBA Draft, received a ride from a police officer back to his condo in White Plains, N.Y. It wasn’t until the next day Greene went to the hospital and, like Moran, was deemed free of any broken bones.

“When you are in an accident, you do not know what is going on,” Moran said, explaining he was disoriented and unable to force open the front seat doors to exit the vehicle. “It is not like a movie where the people find a way to get out. You close your mind. There was nowhere to run. Nowhere to go. I did not have a stone in my car to break through in case I got in an accident. I did not think that way.”

He absolutely was in no condition to escape the car without Greene’s assistance.

“Most people, they would get out and run to save themselves,” Moran said. “He stayed. I got out because he helped me. If he had done nothing (after impact), we both would be meeting God together.”

Moran is convinced Greene will have multiple blessings returned in the future.

“God will help people like him to do whatever he wants (in life),” said Moran, who hails from Dominican Republic and speaks broken English. “People who help people … they will be helped as well.”

Accounts of this car accident were reported a week ago in the Journal-World on May 22. Greene’s dad, Jeffrey, who relayed news of the incident to the J-W, did not mention Brannen’s role in helping Moran ostensibly because he was unsure of specifics and didn’t want to appear to be seeking publicity for his son, whose intent in saving Moran was not to receive positive press clippings.

“Most people save a guy in a car and tell the news about it. The only reason you know about this is because I told you about it,” Moran told the J-W. “He did not want (praise) for this. People (fans) who love him … they will love him more now.”

The police report of the incident has not yet been e-mailed to the J-W or the Greene family.

Brannen, who has worked out for several NBA teams since the accident, does not wish to comment as he focuses on the draft. The J-W has confirmed that Moran was the driver of the vehicle via correspondence between the parties and Uber involving this case.

Needless to say, Jeff Greene is proud of his son.

“To hear that from Henry Moran, somebody I’ve never met, wouldn’t know if I saw him … that doesn’t surprise me about Brannen, not at all. That’s him. That’s his heart,” Jeffrey said.

“He’s always put others before himself. I’ll tell you this little story that would encapsulate that for you. When Brannen was 12, headed to eighth grade we were off to play in a tournament in south Georgia with his school team. Brannen wanted the latest Jordans (shoes) that had come out a week before to wear in that tournament. I thought, ‘Well OK. I’ll go buy them.’ They were $120, $130.

“In the game there was a kid who was getting picked on about the shoes he was wearing. They were past worn out. Brannen came out of the locker room after the game. I asked him, ‘Where are your shoes?’ He didn’t have them. He said, ‘There’s a kid on the other team who was getting laughed at by the fans, so I gave them to him. He wore my size.’”

“That’s Brannen’s heart,” Jeff added. This story (of Moran) does not surprise me the least bit. That’s his heart.”

To Henry Moran … he will always have a fond spot in his heart for KU’s Greene.

“To me when I saw him in my car, in the back seat, he looked like my son, who plays baseball at Keystone College (Steven, pitcher),” Henry Moran said.

“I am a normal person with a family,” he added, noting he has a wife and five children. “He is athletic like my son. I am proud of my son. If I talk to him (Brannen) I will tell him he is like my son.”

When driver and passenger talk again or whether they talk again is anybody’s guess.

“I don’t have his phone number. I don’t want to bother him,” Henry Moran said. “I owe him. He doesn’t owe me. I can tell him thank you through you. You can tell him for me.”


KJ Quartermaine 6 years, 1 month ago

I got goosebumps reading this. Incredible story

Mike Riches 6 years, 1 month ago

Seriously, this has become an amazing story! Well done BG!!

Jaston Archie 6 years, 1 month ago

All the KU fans who have trashed Brannen's character will be backtracking in 3...2...1...

Gerry Butler 6 years, 1 month ago

Agree 100% Jaston. I have to admit, yes I too thought a couple of experiences Brannen had- - did were ummm not to smart. BUT the one thing I have had to remind myself many times while he was here was Brannen is Still a teenage boy. I would challenge anyone on here that would be perfectly honest that they as a teenager didn't pull some kind of bonehead or what was perceived to be a bonehead move by their parents or others at sometime during their teenage years. The you see an act that this kid Brannen did here - -and it makes you realize that there is that other side he is a good kid and this goes to show and really doesn't deserve all the negative he has gotten, including from myself. I'll at least stand up and say let me have it, I deserve it- - just goes to show you ever heard the phrase JUDGE NOT and lest be JUDGED. We all make mistakes, especially during our early years of life. That's how we learn- - we learn from our mistakes, no one including me is perfect, far from it, and a lot of us,- - -not all but a lot of us if we would be perfectly honest I'm sure experimented with pot or others it's called being a teenager, going with the flow, buddies what the hell ever. Partying as a teenager. I guess from all my rambling what I'm really trying to say- - - I'm sorry Brannen- - -I apologize, I'm older and sometimes let my mouth overload my a - - For like 95% of the time I loved your play, your some might say little cockiness, attitude. For the other 5 %, my bad your no different then anyone else, it's just it came to the public light intensified more because you were a public figure, a ball player at a Major College. Wishing you nothing but the best, you were and always will be a Kansas Jayhawk- - for life. As far as I'm concerned- - you'll always be welcomed here. Once again thank you for helping save this man from futher harm. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Steve Macy 6 years, 1 month ago

Good job Brannen, good luck where ever your career takes you.

Humpy Helsel 6 years, 1 month ago

This story is a great reminder for all of us, especially me, to remember these are kids and they are much more than their box scores, game mistakes, unrealized potential based on hype, outbursts, and yes, suspensions. I think there are a bunch of us who feel a bit sheepish reading this story about Brannen and his sense of care for others. I hope the blessings described by Mr. Moran all come true for Brannen Greene.

Joe Ross 6 years, 1 month ago

Some people sail through life without many problems. Others seem to do everything wrong. And then there are those in the middle. Guys like Brannen Greene. Guys like myself, in a sort of way. Guys who have some incredible talents, if youll allow me to say so, but whose path in life has been punctuated with mistakes. People of the middle ground, halfway betwixt greatness and ruin. These are the courageous people. Ones who have to get up and keep trying. Brannen Greene makes some mistakes, yes...but he is one incredible human being. And it didnt take this story to reveal that to me.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

The people sail through life without many problems, are just the ones who cover/hide their mistakes better. The real problem though is when others feel the need to highlight the faults of others (Out of insecurity of their own failings?) instead of "giving a kid a pair of shoes". Sort of like TK's say something nice articles.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 1 month ago

These additional details about Greene saving the driver's life are incredible. Admittedly, it was hard for me to respect him while he was at KU, but after reading this, my respect for him just increased exponentially.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 1 month ago

Sometimes it's hard to differentiate the person from the player. This experience with Brennan kind of highlights that difficulty. I am just glad everyone is alright, I hope they got the person who rear-ended them.

PS Joe, what's the deal between you and Jay?

Dirk Medema 6 years, 1 month ago

Joe made a comment that Jay didn't agree with, as hard as that is to believe, and Jay has been going over it again and again like a road kill skunk, again as hard as that is to believe.

Wasn't having our actual names supposed to make this a more humane, respectful place?

James Miller 6 years, 1 month ago

As a Soldier, I must say that I know people who have gone through similar experiences and have been awarded the Bronze Star with "V" device. As a Christian, I have to say that all the events that have happened with Greene placed him at this event. Thank you BG for having the courage to save this mans life, just like God wanted you to do! As a KU fan, I am so proud. It is hard to make me cry, but I will admit this story got me misty eyed. I have been in many sticky situations and I know how dramatic they can be. BG has handled this with such class; not looking for attention. As a man, I wish you the best. I hope to see you in the NBA. I will always root for your team (well, I will always root for you). Much Love, SFC James W. Miller

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 1 month ago

I guess that's a good way to look at BG's suspension. I wonder how differently this event might have played out if Self hadn't lifted Greene's suspension a game early.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 1 month ago

Joe, all life's blessings to you. You are a wonderful human being. Your post brings tears to my eyes just like this article. Would love to meet you someday.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 1 month ago

One last thing. If I were an NBA owner, I'd make room somewhere for Brannen in my organization.

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago

At this point he can't begin to score fast enough to balance his total defensive failures. If he becomes a solid defender there's a place in the NBA for him.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 1 month ago

I disagree but with a different reason than Jay's. If Greene can learn how to make room for his own shot than I think he'd have a better chance to make it onto a NBA roster.

Jay Scott 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree. Trouble Greene has is that he can't defend, cant handle the ball, can't create his own shot, didn't take the ball to the basket well (at least not until the handshake line forms) and isn't the best passer....he rebounds tenaciously, and he can shoot..... really really can shoot...

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 1 month ago

He has a gorgeous shot..I think he should have stayed another year and learned how to defend and create on his own but I guess God had other plans...

Mallory Briggans 6 years, 1 month ago

First and foremost ......thank you Mr James Miller for your courage in defending our great country . Basketball is a game .....just a game... it is our getaway for a couple hours we wear our school colors and jerseys as we cheer on our team .We lost to Villanova this year but in the grand scheme of thing it wasn't life or death . We will be back on the court in a few months and will go into a frenzy when that time comes....What you do Mr Miller and what you face is foreign to most of us ,but want Brannen faced is common to all of us we can witness or be involved in an accident at any time. We have questioned some of Brannens decisions , a bad shot here ,a turnover there a missed defensive assignment but he was humble about what happened ....imagine that... BG not wanting the spotlight says more about him.... doesn't it. Brannen can go through life playing with HOUSE MONEY and I'm willing to bet he has already won . Good luck Brannen

Yonatan Negash 6 years, 1 month ago

Glad to see Brannen Greene finally get some acknowledgment for being a great human being.

If all the "issues" BG encountered at KU led to saving this man's life, I'm OK with that.

Frankly speaking this world needs more real hero's than basketball players.

John Randall 6 years, 1 month ago

Not the least among those due to step up and apologize for comments and actions which had to hurt Brannen and certainly contributed to many fan's dumb-assessments of the kid from -*- Ga, would be that infallible judge of character –– HC Bill Self.

While our coach maintains excellent rapport with nearly every recruit (and likely with Brannen on a private basis), he has a problem dealing with ADHD symptoms. Maybe he simply lacks experience with similar situations and will improve with more time at the helm. Then again, ToughLove can be an effective force with ADHD types, among which I have to include myself, though in my youth there wasn't a name or acronym for the scatter-brain-f^^k-ups we all knew.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, SFC Miller, for sharing your thoughts with us. You are a patriot and a great American. Also, as a Christian, you know that there is a special place in heaven for you, not because of your deeds, but because of your faith.

Mr. Randall, I sympathize with you and your ADHD experiences. However, I hope that you can come to grips with your apparent bitterness and negativity. It will make your life much more enjoyable, which I think you deserve.

Finally, Jay, I agree that Brannen has practically no chance of playing in the NBA. However, club owners have other needs in the administrative area, and that is what I was suggesting. Brannen's obvious compassion and ability to communicate ought to be useful somewhere in such an organization.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 1 month ago

I'm going to break one of my own rules (no politics, no religion) but I think you know me well enough Harlan to know I'm not making a personal attack.

I was brought up to believe James 2:14-26: Faith Without Works Is Dead

Tony Bandle 6 years, 1 month ago

By the way, on this Memorial Day, thank you every veteran, living or not. Thank you every policemen, living or not, Thank you every fire fighter, living or not and thank you every emergency professional, living or not.

My 93 year old father served in the Navy for four years in the South Pacific, served at the Battle of Saipan and was one of the last men to see the U.S.S. Indianapolis sail off after it delivered the Bomb [think JAWS]. He always says, thank those that gave their lives. The rest of us were blessed just to have survived.

Saving a life may be one of the greatest acts any of us can do. How appropriate that Brannen's act has come to the public's attention at this time.

Regarding Brannen's chances for the NBA, when did defense become a prerequisite for an NBA career? If you can score, you can soar!!

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, Tony, for reminding us how special this day is. Special thanks to your father who is a living reminder of our greatest generation. My father was in the Merchant Marine during World War II and told numerous stories about the "Battle for the Atlantic." Unfortunately, he passed away almost exactly 9 years ago. God Bless all who have served their country and communities in some fashion.

Bernard Gregory 6 years, 1 month ago

I have had the privilege of meeting him on my couple of visits to Kansas and after other games that I attended and he was always well mannered and it was obvious that he had a good upbringing. I would have to give credit to his parents for raising a great young man and regardless of what others may think or say he is a good kid and I am glad that he is okay and proud that he is being showed in a positive light.

James Miller 6 years, 1 month ago

I am so happy to read all the positive posts. As y'all know, that is rare. I was very solemn yesterday; reflecting on my fallen friends, but this site actually made me smile. Thanks to everyone here. Again, much love to BG.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes, Marius, I do know you and respect you, and indeed your biblical reference is totally accurate. As strange as it may seem, I think that both of us are right in our own way. You certainly don't get to heaven on works alone, but it is hard to demonstrate your faith unless you "let your life shine." The bottom line is that we both surely agree that SFC Miller is a fine example of both.

Thanks for completing my statement so that the message is clear.

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