Tasmanian guard Hugh Greenwood has completed an amazing 4 years of college basketball with the University of New Mexico, and is the last of a distinguished number of Australian's to have played with the Lobos that include NBA players Luc Longley and Cameron Bairstow. He departs as one of New Mexico's all-time favourite players, capturing the hearts and minds of the Lobos faithful for both his on and off court success.
At New Mexico, Greenwood enjoyed sustained on court success, starting in all 4 years and helping the team to the NCAA tournament in his first three. With the departure of a host of stars at the end of the 2013/14 season, including compatriot Bairstow, Greenwood was planning to move from being predominantly a facilitator to a scorer. However due to a season-ending injury to Cullen Neal, Greenwood was required to once again take the reigns of the team and play facilitator.
"I love to always get everyone involved, and doing whatever it takes to win," shared Greenwood in speaking with The Flag Flyers on Melbourne's 1116 SEN radio.
"Unfortunately we haven't had the success that we have had over the past couple of years. I had some good games and I had some down games - that's the way it is.
Despite the challenge, Greenwood posted career best figures for scoring (11.6 points per game), rebounds (5.3) and steals (1.5). While the Lobos were unable to make it back to the NCAA Tournament in 2015, Greenwood capped off his career with a host of awards, including being named to the All-Mountain West Third Team.
Off the court, he publicly tackled cyber trolls and bullying while also starting a charity called "Pink Pack" to raise funds for the University of New Mexico Cancer Center in honor of his mother’s second battle with breast cancer. He has so far helped raise in excess of US$52,000 in donations for his charitable cause that is close to his heart.
"It's been really, really successful," outlined Greenwood in discussing the success of the Pink Pack.
"I'm really honoured to do something this big here within the community in Albuquerque."
Greenwood was pleased that the Aussie connection with New Mexico was set to continue following his departure, with the announcement that fellow countryman Chris Harriman had been announced as an associate coach. After spending time under the famed Rick Majerus at Saint Louis and more recently at Nebraska, Greenwood believed Harriman would be great for the Lobos program.
"He has a history of recruiting Aussies with Cody (Ellis) at Saint Louis and some Kiwi guys at Nebraska," shared Greenwood about Harriman.
"So hopefully he can keep the pipeline going."
Since finishing with New Mexico, Greenwood has set his sights on a professional playing career, signing with Mummu Athlete Management and basing himself in Las Vegas as he prepares for likely opportunities in NBA workouts.
"Hopefully I can get myself an opportunity to showcase what I can do over the next couple of weeks," added Greenwood.
With the Australian Boomers embarking on their 2016 Rio Olympics qualification campaign, Greenwood was hoping to be a part of the
"I've put my name up for the Uni Games campaign which is a stepping stone towards that (playing for the Boomers," expressed Greenwood.
"It is something that I have prided myself on, as I love representing my country. It's something that I have always done and loved to do."
Right now Greenwood is focused on best preparing himself for a professional playing career and a potential place with the Australian Boomers. Greenwood firmly believes that training with NBA caliber athletes is the best possible preparation for him to take that next step. Given everything he has achieved so far, there is nothing that can stop him achieving his goals.
To hear the full interview with Greenwood including more on his time with the Lobos, Harriman's potential impact at New Mexico, his chances with the Boomers, the Pink Pack and the NBL, plus more, please listen via the link below.