Olympian Leford Green to be inducted into Johnson C. Smith University Athletics Hall of Fame in September

By July 10, 2024

Jamaican athlete Leford Green will be inducted into the Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) Athletics Hall of Fame this September, celebrating a remarkable collegiate career and outstanding contributions to the university's track and field program. Green, a former student-athlete who excelled both on the track and in the classroom, expressed his overwhelming gratitude for the honor.

"I am overwhelmed. We have been working hard over the years. We have done a lot with regards to Johnson C. Smith and the track and field programme. As a matter of fact, I was Coach (Lennox) Graham's first recruit, so it is just overwhelming that I am being acknowledged for all the efforts and the achievements," Green shared.

These days a Unit Manager at Piedmont Airlines, Green's journey at JCSU began in 2008, where he quickly made a name for himself. In his sophomore year, he was named the 2008-09 CIAA Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, setting the stage for an illustrious collegiate career. He became the NCAA defending indoor 400m national champion in 2008 and led the JCSU men's track team with standout performances across multiple events. Notably, he set a new Clemson University facility record of 1:03.52 in the 500m during the 2009 indoor season.

Born in the parish of St Mary but raised in St. Catherine, Jamaica, Green earned his second All-American honours for his indoor performance and set a personal best in the 200m with a time of 20.41 seconds, the fastest collegiate time in the nation that year. His prowess extended to the outdoor track as well, where he secured automatic qualifying times for the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships in both the 200m and 400m.

Green's dominance continued at the CIAA Outdoor Championships, where he was named MVP after winning the 200m, 400m hurdles, and placing second in the 400m. His remarkable athletic achievements were matched by his academic excellence, as he maintained a 4.0 GPA in information systems engineering. Green also received the Pettis Norman Award at the JCSU Annual Athletic Banquet, recognizing him as Student-Athlete of the Year.

The pinnacle of Green's collegiate career came in 2011 when he was named NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year. That year, he finished the season undefeated and won the NCAA title in the 400m with a time of 45.74 seconds, outpacing the nearest competitor by a full second. He also won the 400m hurdles at the NCAA meet in 2010 and contributed to JCSU's winning 4x400m relay team and fifth-place 4x100m squad.

Green's impact extended beyond his individual accolades. At his conference meet, he earned 2011 CIAA Male Athlete of the Meet honors after winning the 400m and 400m hurdles, finishing second in the 200m, and running a leg on the Golden Bulls' second-place 4x400m relay team. His efforts earned him the title of Division II Male Track Athlete of the Year in 2010.

Reflecting on his time at JCSU, Green highlighted his freshman year as especially memorable. "My freshman year. It was a transitional period for me and Coach Graham. Freshman year, pretty much won indoors, new to all that stuff and came out national champion in the 400m was exceptional for me so it just showed I could overcome and keep on going further and further."

 Green's achievements extended to the international stage, where he represented Jamaica at the 2012 London Olympics, finishing seventh in the 400m hurdles final. He also competed at the World Athletics Championships in 2011, 2013, and 2015. Additionally, Green won gold in the 400m hurdles for Jamaica at the 2010 and 2011 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Puerto Rico. After graduating, Green continued to contribute to JCSU as an assistant coach, mentoring the next generation of athletes.

Leford Green's induction into the Johnson C. Smith University Athletics Hall of Fame is a testament to his dedication, resilience, and excellence both on and off the track. His legacy will undoubtedly inspire future generations of student-athletes to strive for greatness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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