Fox Creek basketball player, boxer balances two sports

Keiana Green, a junior at Fox Creek High School, launches 3-pointers and can also knock an opponent flat with a right hook, but she is managing to keep her two favorite sports separate, possibly to her opponents' relief.

The 16-year-old right-hander has boxing as her other sport of choice, which sometimes makes for a challenging situation during basketball season. Augusta Boxing Club is her hangout for "the sweet science."

"I do basketball all week," she said, "and then I go to the gym on Saturday and Wednesday, because I don't have basketball on Wednesdays."

Green, whose parents are Karwarren and Katina Green, came up through Belvedere Elementary, Mossy Creek Elementary and Paul Knox Middle schools.

The 5-foot-3 junior now serves the Lady Predators as a shooting guard and is part of the squad that has qualified for a playoff bid for the first time in the history of Fox Creek's girls' basketball program. As a boxer, she is more familiar with success, sporting a 6-0 record.

The two sports balance well, she said, noting that "lining up for a 3-pointer usually relates to me throwing a 'two.'"

A "two," she said, is "a right straight-hand," in boxing.

She started basketball at age 4 and got into boxing one year later, after seeing boxer Leila Ali, a daughter of Muhammad Ali, in action, and asked her dad to sign her up.

"Basketball conditioning is way different from boxing, because ... boxing, I have to run miles and miles, but for basketball, I run sprints."

Her basketball coach these days is Richard Brady, at Fox Creek, and her boxing coaches are Tyrone Guy and Ray Whitfield.

Green impressed Guy as "a surprise," in Green's words. "She's a very tough, athletic young lady. She works very hard when she's in the gym, getting ready for a tournament. She's got a lot of character when she's in the ring. She turns into somebody else when she's out there."

Mixing the two sports, he said, helps stave off boredom that might arise from an exclusive focus on boxing. "She wants to be an Olympian some day, so that's her main focus."

Brady made similar comments and noted that Green has succeeded in balancing her practice schedules. On top of that, "She's always in shape. I'm sure the boxing helps with her conditioning," he said.

She is "a really hard-nosed, physical player," with the ability to work well near the hoop or farther out, he said.

Green's motto is "hard work and dedication," she said. "That's what I learned from my dad and my boxing coaches."