Basketball Star James Young is ‘The Best’ at Troy High School
The junior is being recruited by Division I colleges and could end up as Troy’s all-time leading scorer.
With his team up by 20 points late in the third quarter of last Friday’s 88-70 home-court win over Royal Oak, Troy High School’s James Young decided to put an exclamation point on the Colts’ victory.
Young brought the ball up the court, cut to the lane and unleashed a thunderous, one-handed slam dunk that sent the Troy fans into a frenzy.
“I taught him how to do that,” Troy coach Gary Fralick joked after the game. “That was a great teaching job.”
Troy fans can expect more of that this season from Young, a junior guard who Fralick said will likely one day own the school’s career scoring record.
“He’s the best that’s ever been through here, as long as I’ve been here,” Fralick said. Fralick has coached the Colts for 18 seasons and has seen several of his players go on to play at the collegiate level.
At 6 feet 6 inches tall and 190 pounds, Young is already being recruited by Division I teams like Michigan State, Florida State, Oklahoma and Indiana. He said he is also interested in attending one of the current college basketball powerhouses like Ohio State, Kentucky and Connecticut.
Last year as a sophomore, Young averaged more than 20 points per game as the Colts captured a share of the Oakland Activities Association White Division title. He earned all-OAA honors and was named as an honorable mention for the Class A all-state team.
Despite the individual accolades, a loss in the regional semifinals to Pontiac ended Troy’s season earlier than it would have liked last year, and Young said the team is committed to making a deeper run in the tournament this year.
“We trying to get past that now and make it a little farther than we did last year,” Young said.
During the off season, Young, who is left handed, said he worked on using his right hand more during games as well as improving his defense and three-point shooting.
Three games into the season, the hard work seems to be paying off as Young is once again averaging more than 20 points per game, and Troy is off to a 2-1 start. Fralick said he has been very impressed with Young’s progress so far.
“He has a lot of tools, he’s very athletic, he handles (the ball) pretty well, shoots it pretty well and when we get after him to rebound he rebounds pretty well,” Fralick said.
One aspect of Young’s game that adds even more to his versatility is his ability to play multiple positions on the court. The team lists Young as a point guard on the official roster, but Young said he is comfortable playing other positions such as shooting guard and small forward.
Fralick said Young’s ability to line up almost anywhere on the court helps create match-up problems for Troy’s opponents.
“It throws the other team off a bit,” Fralick said. “We have to get him working down low (in the paint), and I think then it’s going to be really hard to stop him.”
Young and the Colts will get a chance to build on their strong start on Dec. 29, when Troy will play Okemos at Michigan State’s Breslin Center as part of the Holiday Hoops Invitational.