When the high school football players are introduced to the man in the middle of Athletes Performance Enhancement in Mesa, they don’t fully understand who is taking them through their paces, working on refining technique, balance, speed work.
Until they look up his YouTube video running 100 meters in Greece in 1999.
Then, their jaws drop, as they watch Maurice Greene cross the finish line in 9.79 seconds, then a world record.
They weren’t even born when Greene became the fastest man on Earth.
“It’s a privilege,” said Tashumbrae’ “Scooter” Brown Jr., a senior cornerback at Gilbert Williams Field who moved in from Texas. “It’s a blessing to me. That’s one of the best Olympians out there, who ran a 9-second-something 100. That’s amazing. You don’t see that too often.
“For him to give back to the community, and help me with my game, that’s a true blessing.”
An open house is being held at the Athletes Performance Enhancement facility on Saturday at 1 p.m., for parents and youth athletes to meet Greene and the speed training program that he is providing.
Greene, who moved into the Valley three years ago, was one of the greatest sprinters from 1997-2004, winning four Olympic medals, including two golds, and capturing five world championships.
He helped out the last few years at Phoenix South Mountain High School’s track program with 1976 Olympic 200-meter bronze medalist Dwayne Evans, his alma mater’s head coach.
Larry Graham, who started Athletes Performance Enhancement (APE) as a training ground for male and female youths to get stronger, decided this summer to ramp it up with a speed training program.