So apropos that it’s Black History Month because Jordan Greenway will be making some black history when he steps onto the ice for the 2018 Winter Olympics as the first African American to be named to the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team.
At 6 feet, 5 inches tall and 238 pounds, the 20-year-old will also be the biggest player on the U.S. team when it competes in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“I dreamed of [it] as a kid, and I didn’t think it was going to happen before I graduated college, but I’m fortunate that it did, and I just couldn’t be more excited!” Greenway told CNN.
The Canton, N.Y., native, who first put on a pair of skates at age 3, says that there were ice rinks everywhere in his hometown, which is close to the Canadian border. His younger brother J.D. also plays.
Greenway was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the 2015 NHL draft but is in the midst of completing his final year at Boston University, where he plays for its Division I hockey team. This is the first time in three decades that the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team has consisted of amateur athletes because the NHL decided not to send any of its players this year.
“I’m the first African American to play hockey for the United States at the Olympics, but hopefully I’m the first of many,” Greenway said. “Hopefully these kids go out, try something different, play hockey, and hopefully I see a lot more playing in the near future.”
Check out Greening at the Olympics beginning on Feb. 14, when the hockey competition officially kicks off.