Jeff Green happy to be back with Celtics, looking forward to comeback season after heart surgery

JEFF GREENHappy to be back
JEFF GREENHappy to be back

It was a normal community appearance for the Celtics, who sent three players to Holland Elementary School in Dorchester Friday to teach students some basketball skills.

It wasn’t a normal appearance for Jeff Green, who is thrilled to be back playing basketball after missing last season because of an aortic aneurysm.

Green underwent surgery in January and was cleared to return, signing a four-year pact with the Celtics that became official three weeks ago.

Green immediately bonded with the kids and enjoyed every moment teaching some life lessons after such a trying experience.

“I’m fully recovered, part of the team, cleared for everything,’’ said Green, who averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 26 games with Boston in the 2010-11 season.

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“What I went through is a blessing in disguise. It allowed me to sit back and get things from a different point of view. So now I just have to play basketball.’’

Green joined the Celtics from Oklahoma City in a controversial midseason trade in February 2011 for Kendrick Perkins.

Green never quite gained comfort in the Celtics’ system but the team had big plans for him last season as a combination forward coming off the bench to spell Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. But he failed his physical during training camp and cardiologists detected an issue with his aorta.

Green has been working out in Waltham with Kris Joseph, Jason Terry, Dionte Christmas, and Rajon Rondo. The games have been competitive and Green said he has felt comfortable.

“My game pretty much speaks for itself, a guy who can play multiple positions,’’ he said. “Attacking different situations. I just have to improve in different things and show out there on the court. [The veterans] want to see me aggressive because it takes less pressure off of them.’’

Green was a hit with the children, many of whom raced to offer high-fives after the session.

“I had a lot of fun, it felt good to get back out here in the community,’’ he said. “I haven’t been able to the past year or so, but now that I’m back with the team and able to do this, it’s great coming out here. That’s what I told them, what I went through and the surgery.

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“Basketball isn’t everything. You have to have a ‘Plan B’ and my ‘Plan B’ was to go back and get my education. Even though I had surgery I was able to do that. By me having the podium that I have and they listen, it was a great opportunity.’’

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