RJ Greer had company during his winter away from basketball. He would take turns on the AlterG treadmill at the University of Dayton with injured Dayton Flyers guards Malachi Smith and Kobe Elvis, who both missed chunks of the 2022-23 season.
“We definitely bonded in the training room,” Greer said. “They were always in there with me.”
Greer, whose full name is Ricardo Greer Jr., is the son of Dayton associate head coach Ricardo Greer and the No. 80 recruit in the class of 2025, according to Rivals.com.
RJ played in only the first three games of his sophomore season at Springboro High School. He underwent foot surgeries on Dec. 14 and March 2 to fix the sesamoid bone in both feet. He was born with the problem and knew he would likely have to have surgery someday. With the feet causing him problems early last season, he decided to get it done.
“It was the best decision ever because now he’s 100% healthy, excited and ready to go,” Ricardo said.
RJ’s access to UD’s facilities and trainers helped him recover faster, he said. He felt fully recovered two weeks ago, ending a long winter and spring on the sideline.
“It was really tough,” RJ said, “but I had the right people in my corner. They helped me a lot, and that helped me get through it.”
Greer averaged 11.0 points per game in the three games he played last season and 15.3 points in 15 games as a freshman. He now moves from Springboro to Alter High School for his junior season.
“His first two years at Springboro were great,” Ricardo said. “He got to meet new friends. He got to compete. But his original school was supposed to be Alter. His friends he went to middle school with all went to Alter. We live in Springboro, so we were closer to Springboro. The new coach that came in, Brett Kostoff, did a good job of wanting him to be at the local school, so we made that decision. A year later, Kostoff got fired. The coach (Brian) Bales came in. He did a good job with him, but we just felt what’s best for his growth, plus with his sister (Maddison) being an incoming freshman at Alter, it was a great situation for him to go back and be with his sister and also be with his friends that he went to middle school with.”
Ricardo, his wife Misty, Ricardo Jr. and Maddison will move to the Bellbrook area to be closer to Alter. With the school choice out of the way and his feet healthy, RJ can now focus on a summer of basketball. He expects more scholarship offers to come his way.
Greer already has a number of high-profile offers from Florida, Michigan, his dad’s alma mater, Pittsburgh, and most recently Penn State. He also received an offer from Dayton last September. He never announced that one like some of the others.
“I just didn’t want people to think if I made that public I was going to Dayton,” Greer said.
Of course, Greer will consider Dayton, he said. It’s just not a guarantee he will pick UD because of his dad. He will never forget the moment he received a scholarship offer from the Dayton coaches.
“It was so surreal,” he said. “They called me into coach (Anthony) Grant’s office, and I had a talk with him with my mom and dad sitting there. It was so weird, but it was really nice.”
Ricardo hears questions about whether his son will pick Dayton all the time.
“We try to separate it as much as possible,” Ricardo said. “This is not about Dad. It’s more about my son and what’s best for him and his future. He also understands you never know what can happen two years from now, but for me, it’s more about just being a dad right now, trying to support my son through this process and trying to help him in this journey.”
That journey will now continue at Alter. He joins a team, coached by Eric Coulter, that finished 20-8 last season and 25-3 two seasons ago. Alter graduated its top three scorers: Anthony Ruffolo; A.J. Leen; and Gavin Geisel. Its top returning scorers are: guard Gavin Leen, who will be a senior; 6-8 junior center Charlie Uhl, the younger brother of Dayton walk-on Brady Uhl; and senior guard Joe Brand.
“They have a good team,” Ricardo said. “They’re big. They lost a couple of scorers from last year’s team, but Coulter has done a good job of running a good program. I think this team will be highly competitive and has a chance to do some special things.”
“I think we’re going to win state,” RJ said. “I think this team’s really good.”
RJ used the time away from the court to work on his body. He said he’s put on close to 30 pounds and weighs 175 now. He grew to 6 feet, 4 inches, leaving him one inch away from catching his dad.
Coulter expected to have RJ as a freshman but is excited to get him now.
“He’s a shooter,” Coulter said. “He can flat out put the ball in the basket. Every coach wants that type of kid on their team, especially with the way the 3-point line has totally changed the game. He’s a real consistent shooter. He’s a combo guard, He can put it on the floor. He can create for others. He can create his own shot as well, which a lot of high school kids can’t do. He’s special.”
It will be a busy summer for Greer. He will not only play with his new Alter teammates at various events, including the team camp at UD this weekend, but will participate in the NCAA Basketball Academy in Memphis from July 24-27. The event gives high school athletes a preview of the college experience and allows them to showcase their games in front of hundreds of college coaches.
Greer also will participate in the NBA Global Academy in Atlanta this summer and hopes to receive an invitation to the NBPA Top 100 camp in Orlando.
RJ didn’t want to talk to college coaches as he was rehabbing all winter. Now that he’s healthy he expects the recruiting to pick up again. He ranks fourth in Ohio in the class of 2025, according to PrepHoops.com.
“He hasn’t played for the last couple of months,” Ricardo said, “so schools haven’t seen him play. For him, it’s just a matter of getting getting back at it, figuring out what fits him and what he wants, but he’s excited about it.”