The photographs on the wall of LaMarr Greer's Middle Township home tell the story of his basketball travels.

There are pictures of Greer with his family in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colosseum in Rome and Big Ben in London.

"I take pictures of everything," he said.

Basketball has taken Greer around the world but each summer the Middle Township High School graduate returns to Cape May County.

Greer, 34, has become a mentor and an example for local teens. He works out with local players in the Middle Township High School gym each night and this month will hold a formal basketball camp for players ages 7-17 at the high school from July 6-10 and July 12-16.

"The kids take LaMarr's word way more than they take my word and my entire staff's," said Middle boys basketball coach Tom Feraco, who coached Greer in high school. "They buy into everything he says. He has a beautiful way of teaching kids. He has a soothing, mild-mannered delivery."

Greer could easily get a job at prestigious camp in Philadelphia or New York, but he chooses to stay closer to home.

"The kids here are the lives I can touch," he said. "I'm hands-on with these kids around here. I want the kids around here to know things are possible. You don't have to be from a major city like New York or Philadelphia. You can be from Middle Township and make it out. You make it out, but you always come back."

Greer is one of the Cape-Atlantic League's best players ever. The 6-foot-5 point guard overpowered opponents with size and instinctive knowledge of the game. He averaged 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists as a senior.

Greer led Middle to the 1993 and 1994 state Group II titles. The Panthers reached the 1993 Tournament of Champions final, where they lost to St. Anthony of Jersey City. Middle is the only local boys team to reach a TOC final.

Greer was a McDonald's All-American and scored 2,637 points - the most of any local player from a New Jersey State Interscholastic School - in his high school career.

Greer spent his first two high school seasons at Overbrook in Camden County. But he always had strong ties to Middle Township. His mother Althea grew up in Cape May Court House and graduated from Middle.

After Middle, Greer played at Florida State. He began his career overseas in Italy in 2000. Since then, Greer has made a more-than-comfortable living playing in Greece, Russia and the Ukraine.

While it's not the NBA, overseas players like Greer not only draw a salary, but also live in housing and drive cars supplied by the team.

He averaged 14.9 points for Ironi Nahariya in the Israel Premier League last winter.

Local teens ask Greer not only how to shoot a jump shot but also what it's like to live in another country.

"I always love answering the kids' questions about places in Italy and Greece," he said. "They've never met anybody from those places."

Greer took his wife, Corann, and three sons - LaMarr Jr., 15, Trai, 12, and Corey, 10 - everywhere he went.

"I tell my kids they're really going to appreciate it when they get older," Greer said. "They know a few words in a couple of languages. In school here, they talk about places (in Europe) my kids are like 'I've been there.' "

He wants to give local players the best of what he's learned in the United States and overseas.

"The kids in Europe are working real hard at basketball," Greer said. "Over there they play the same game, but they teach it differently. They're so much more fundamentally (oriented) over there. They drill the fundamentals."

Greer's life is changing. Feraco often mentions Greer as a possible successor for him.

Greer's son LaMarr, a player with potential, will begin his sophomore year at Middle Township in September.

Greer is busy now with the details of his camp. He will return to Israel for training camp at the end of August.

But leaving home is getting tougher and tougher for him. This past winter was the first year that Greer's family didn't travel with him.

"I'm going to keep playing as long as I can," he said. "But little LaMarr is in high school and I really want to see him play."

Sometimes photographs aren't enough. A dad wants to see his son play with his own eyes.

Contact Michael McGarry:


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