Sam Young (basketball)

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Sam Young
Juvecaserta Basket
Position Small forward / Shooting guard
League Lega Basket Serie A
Personal information
Born (1985-06-01) June 1, 1985 (age 29)
Washington, D.C
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school Friendly (Fort Washington, Maryland)
Hargrave Military (Chatham, Virginia)
College Pittsburgh (2005–2009)
NBA draft 2009 / Round: 2 / Pick: 36th overall
Selected by the Memphis Grizzlies
Pro playing career 2009–present
Career history
20092012 Memphis Grizzlies
2012 Philadelphia 76ers
2012–2013 Indiana Pacers
2013–2014 Sydney Kings
2014 Vaqueros de Bayamón
2014–present Juvecaserta Basket
Career highlights and awards
  • All-NBL Second Team (2014)
  • Third team All-AmericanAP, TSN (2009)
  • 2x All-Big East First Team (2008–2009)
  • All-Big East Most Improved Player of the Year (2008)
  • Big East All-Rookie Team (2006)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Samuel David "Sam" Young (born June 1, 1985) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for Juvecaserta Basket of the Lega Basket Serie A. He played college basketball at the University of Pittsburgh.

Early years[edit]

The eldest of five children, Young was born in Washington, D.C. to single mother Marquet Craig, then 14 years old. She supported her family by working as a cable TV installer for Comcast, and moved the family nine times.[1] By the time Young was in high school, the family had found its way to Prince George's County, Maryland. At Friendly High School in Fort Washington, Young led the Patriots to Maryland state titles in 2003 and 2004, averaging 24.6 points, 14.0 rebounds, and six blocked shots per game as a senior.[2] Despite his statistics, he was not generally regarded as a blue-chip prospect. His physical profile was that of a shooting guard or small forward, but he was playing out of position as a center, and his high school grades meant that he would have to spend a year at a prep school in order to qualify for a scholarship. One of the few major schools to show interest in him at that time was Pitt.[1]

College career[edit]

After graduating from high school, Young attended Hargrave Military Academy for a year, averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds for a team that went 28–1 and was ranked second nationally among prep school programs. The basketball recruiting site Scout.com named Young its National Prep School Player of the Year for 2005. He also received the recruiting attention he had largely missed out on in high school, receiving offers from programs such as Georgia, Maryland, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, and Miami.[2] He would decide to sign with Pitt; Joe Lombardi, then a Pitt assistant and now head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, speculated that Young chose Pitt because "[w]e were there when a whole lot of other people weren't around. He just wanted someone to give him some love."[1]

Young joined the Pitt basketball team for the 2005–2006 season.[2] He initially chafed at his role on the team; he wanted to display his perimeter skills, but head coach Jamie Dixon wanted him to play on the inside. Young nearly transferred to Kansas State after his sophomore year of 2006–07, but when the Wildcats' coach Bob Huggins left for West Virginia after that season, Dixon convinced Young to stay, indicating that he would have a much bigger role on the team in the upcoming season.[1] Dixon's prediction was borne out that season; Young averaged 18 points per game, was named the 2008 Big East Tournament MVP after scoring 80 points in the tournament,[3][4] and was also named the conference's most improved player.[5]

In his senior season at Pitt, Young averaged 19.2 points per game, and was given the honor of being a Third Team All-America. His 2009 NBA draft stock also increased after his spectacular performance in the 2009 NCAA Tournament in which he averaged 23.5 points in four games.[6][7] He also received accolades from his opposition; Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, who saw Young score 56 points in two games against his team in Young's senior season, including 31 on Pitt's 2009 Senior Day, said, "There hasn't ever been a player who gives us as many problems as he does."[5]

College statistics[edit]

College Statistics[8]
Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2005–06 Freshman Pittsburgh Panthers 33 3 20.4 .521 .190 .693 4.4 0.8 .7 0.6 7.9
2006–07 Sophomore Pittsburgh Panthers 37 2 17.2 .458 .310 .597 3.0 .7 .6 0.5 7.2
2007–08 Junior Pittsburgh Panthers 37 37 32.1 .503 .383 .690 6.3 1.2 1.1 1.1 18.1
2008–09 Senior Pittsburgh Panthers 36 36 31.8 .502 .372 .740 6.3 1.1 1.0 0.8 19.2

College awards[edit]

Professional career[edit]

Young was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 36th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft.

On March 15, 2012, Young was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the rights to Ricky Sánchez.[9]

On September 6, 2012, Young signed with the Indiana Pacers.[10] On January 6, 2013, he was waived by the Pacers[11] but was later re-signed on January 28, 2013.[12]

On September 30, 2013, Young signed with the San Antonio Spurs.[13] However, he was later waived by the Spurs on October 10, 2013.[14]

On November 18, 2013, Young signed with the Sydney Kings for the rest of the 2013–14 NBL season.[15][16] On February 4, 2014, Young was named the Player of the Month for January.[17] In 21 games for the Kings, Young averaged 21.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game.[18]

On January 19, 2014, Young signed with Vaqueros de Bayamón of Puerto Rico for the 2014 BSN season.[19]

On July 22, 2014, he signed a one-year deal with Juvecaserta Basket of Italy.[20][21]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2009–10 Memphis 80 1 16.5 .451 .196 .777 2.5 .7 .4 .3 7.4
2010–11 Memphis 78 46 20.2 .472 .340 .767 2.4 .9 .9 .3 7.3
2011–12 Memphis 21 2 11.4 .386 .000 .833 2.0 .4 .5 .1 3.5
2011–12 Philadelphia 14 0 9.6 .295 .625 .643 1.5 .4 .4 .3 2.9
2012–13 Indiana 56 3 12.4 .392 .308 .535 2.2 .8 .3 .1 2.8
Career 249 52 15.9 .442 .280 .742 2.3 .7 .5 .2 5.8

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2011 Memphis 13 11 19.7 .448 .250 .600 2.3 .2 .5 .2 7.5
2012 Philadelphia 2 0 2.0 .000 .000 .000 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0
2013 Indiana 15 0 8.7 .375 .200 .750 1.9 .3 .3 .1 1.7
Career 30 11 13.0 .426 .217 .652 2.0 .2 .3 .1 4.1

Personal life[edit]

Scott Cacciola of The Commercial Appeal, the daily newspaper of the Grizzlies' home city of Memphis, Tennessee, wrote:

Young has long been known for his work ethic and his determination. At 6-6 and 210 pounds, he plays basketball in a minor key, all angst and controlled rage, motivated by those who had underestimated him, written him off, ignored him.[1]

Young's work ethic borders on the obsessive. While at Pitt, he practiced so much on his own that the coaching staff worried about his knees, and he would regularly play pick-up games at lunchtime during the season. During the summer before his senior year at Pitt, he went so far as to live for a month in a locker room at Pitt's home arena, the Petersen Events Center, sleeping on an air mattress he had carried to the locker room, so he could work out and practice whenever he chose. Young himself admitted that basketball was his "love" and his girlfriend was his "mistress", adding, "And she knows that."[1]

One of Young's closest friends, former high school teammate and later South Florida player Chris Howard, noted that Young's work ethic was present long before he came to Pitt:

This is a guy who'd be at school at 6:30 in the morning working out or at the gym. When he was at Hargrave, there'd be times we'd call each other and be on speakerphone while we were doing push-ups. He's not one of those guys you're going to see in the club. Sometimes he'll call me and say he's going to movies, and I'll joke around and say, 'Who are you going with? Who's the girl?' And he'll say, 'I'm going by myself.' That's the kind of focus you've got to have until you get to the place you want to be.[5]

He also found inspiration in his family. During his year at Hargrave, he put a poster in his dorm room that read "I can't let my mother work harder than I do." He also drew from his brother Michael Spriggs, who was born with cataracts and glaucoma and completely lost his sight at age 13,[1] but nonetheless reached the state championships in high school wrestling and won a gold medal in judo at an international blind sports competition.[5] Young said about his brother, "It could have been me. And I know if he had my opportunities, he'd be doing something constructive with them."[1]

Young's athleticism is not limited to basketball. Before his senior year at Friendly High, he promised to do backflips if the Patriots won the state title, and proceeded to do exactly that.[2] He also reportedly stunned Pitt's diving coach one day by climbing up to the 7½-meter board and performing a nearly perfect 2½ somersault into the pool.[5]

He also writes poetry; he has spoken with a publisher about compiling his works, and read some of his poems at an open-mike night at a Pittsburgh coffeehouse in 2008. He is also a skilled piano player.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]