Black Futures: Assistant coach Marlon Greene working to build men's basketball team legacy and break down barriers 

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Throughout February, George Brown College celebrates Black Futures Month. We're highlighting GBC students, employees and graduates who are making meaningful changes today with an eye on the future.

Assistant Coach Marlon Greene (centre) with men's basketball team coaching staff

When Marlon Greene was growing up, he didn't see a lot of Black basketball coaches. Now, as a member of a predominantly Black coaching staff for the George Brown College men's basketball team, he feels he's helping to break down barriers and dissolve stereotypes. 

Greene (pictured centre) works as an assistant coach alongside fellow assistant coaches Nolan Gooding, Alexis Plumt, Ian Morse, Teshayn Gayle, and Head Coach Jason Dawkins. A longtime youth coach with experience in the Ontario Basketball Association (OBA) and Team Ontario, Greene came to George Brown in 2019 and immediately realized he was in an environment different from others he'd experienced in his earlier days. He said in the past, when he worked with teams with Black coaches, they were assistants who didn't coach the team but were responsible for relating to the Black players.  

"So, things have changed. So that's why I like George Brown," he said. "We're here to coach and guide the student-athletes." 

Dawkins, Greene and Gooding push for both athletic and academic excellence. The team is headed to the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association's (OCAA) championships after a win over the Redeemer Royals on February 25, and four players are on the dean's list. 

"What we're doing right now is historic. We have one loss. You have that season with a predominantly Black team that wins everything, it kind of breaks down some more barriers. It's not about us. It's about the players and coaches coming in after us," he said. "You want to leave the program in a great place." 

When asked about highlights of his time coaching at George Brown so far, Greene mentions his first practice and first game suiting up as a Husky, the turnout at voluntary outdoor summer training sessions during the height of the pandemic, and players' academic achievements. 

"I feel like we're dubbed the Black team because we have a lot of Black players. When we have players who make the dean's list, we try to show people that we are a team of student-athletes striving for excellence," he said. "We're trying to break down those invisible barriers people put up." 

Greene also noted the team's only loss to the Durham Lords this season in November. 

"It was a good loss because it woke everyone up, coaches and players," he said.  

The Huskies, currently ranked number one in Ontario and number three in Canada, head to the OCAA championships March 2 – 5 at St. Clair College in Windsor. Follow @gbchuskies on Instagram for updates.