Standout forward Young commits to Pitt
His mind clear of one big question, power forward Mike Young led his team to the championship of an outdoor basketball league Saturday night in Manchester. But first, he took care of his future.
Before the game, Young telephoned Pitt coach Jamie Dixon and gave him a verbal commitment that he will join the Panthers next year. Young, a resident of McKeesport who played his freshman season at Shady Side Academy, became the first member of the Class of 2013 to commit to the Panthers.
“(Dixon) wanted me really bad,” said Young, who will play the upcoming season for St. Benedict's (N.J.) Prep, one of the nation's top high school teams. “I was his No. 1 priority. He was so excited, he was stumbling over his words. He said he can't wait to talk to me some more.”
Young said he chose Pitt because the coaching staff had been recruiting him since his freshman year. He said he has felt comfortable talking to assistant coach Brandin Knight for a long time.
“We can have a conversation about life, outside of basketball,” Young said.
Plus, Young said he wanted to go to college close to home after spending the past two seasons in New Jersey. He went to St. Benedict's as a sophomore, but left last year for Hudson (N.J.) Catholic after his coach resigned. He returned to St. Benedict's this year under new coach Mark Taylor.
Young, who is ranked 67th in the nation by ESPN.com and 102nd by Rivals.com, chose Pitt over Florida, his other finalist. He also had offers from Connecticut, Miami, Massachusetts, Memphis, Xavier, St. John's, N.C. State, Seton Hall, Rutgers, West Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Young, 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, averaged 16 points and 13 rebounds at Hudson last season.
“Mike is a good rebounder,” ESPN senior analyst Dave Telep said, “and what he has is a mixture of presence in the paint and on the perimeter to be a dangerous (power forward). Mike really cranked it up to the level of a top-75 guy when he became a more aggressive rebounder. I think Jamie Dixon gave him every chance to become a Pittsburgh Panther. They dangled it and let him chase it.”
ESPN ranks Young the 19th-best power forward in the nation.
Pitt is awaiting a decision from another of its 2013 targets: small forward Jamel Artis of Vermont Academy. Artis, 6-5 and 180, is a Baltimore native who also has offers from La Salle and Dayton. He is expected to announce his choice before the end of the month.
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7997.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.