MOUNT WASHINGTON – Keeping it in the family. That is what Bullitt East basketball standout Elliott Young and Campbellsville University did recently when the 6-7 senior decided to play for the Tigers.
At Campbellsville, he will rejoin older sister Lindy Young who just completed her second season playing for the Lady Tigers.
Campbellsville may have had the inside track from the start, but Young did have some interest in bigger schools such as Lamar and the Air Force Academy, but in the end it wasn’t really a difficult decision for the senior.
“They were the first to offer me anything,” Young said after a signing ceremony on the Bullitt East library that was attended by coaches, family, friends and teammates. “They were in my mind first. Nobody else really drew my attention.”
It was back in February that Young let Campbellsville head coach Keith Atkins know of his decision.
The college recruiting process was just starting to pick up speed for Young in the middle of his junior season. He was a starting forward for the Chargers and they were one of the top teams in the state. Unfortunately, on the team’s holiday trip to a tournament in Florida, Young started having pain in his back. A stress fracture was discovered and Young had to sit out the rest of the season.
“I had just started getting interest and then they stopped calling,” Young said of most of the college coaches.
But Campbellsville stayed in the picture. Young was already making trips to the school to watch his sister play and he was definitely on the radar of head coach Atkins.
“I had been there four or five times to watch her play,” Young pointed out. “I was talking to the coaches on those trips.”
Young has no pain in his back now and he played in all 34 games for Bullitt East this season. He was third on the team behind Rusty Troutman and Trey Rakes in minutes played.
On one of the most talented teams in the state, Young averaged 9.1 points a game along with five rebounds.
The 18-year old son of Carla and Vincent Young hasn’t quite made up his mind on a career path.
“I’m thinking about criminal justice, but I keeping it open,” he said with a smile. “But I’m leaning toward that.”
Despite his 6-7 frame, Young hopes to play away from the basket at the next level. He connected on 23 three-pointers during the past season.
“They have said I definitely need to get stronger and work the weights so I can play the three or four position,” the senior said. “I’d rather play the three. To do that, I’ll have to work on my ball handling and defense.”
Young had the genes to be a strong athlete. His father played football and rugby at Eastern Kentucky University while his mother was a standout at Bullitt East, earning a spot on the Kentucky All-Star team in 1983 before continuing her playing days at Eastern Kentucky.
Young grew up in Mount Washington and played basketball at Mount Washington Middle School. Growing up, Young played all the sports, but after dropping track when he got to Bullitt East, opted to concentrate on basketball.
“I played all the sports and then basketball was what I like most,” he said.
Coaches say it about a lot of players, but Bullitt East head coach Troy Barr didn’t have to think twice to say that the best basketball is ahead for Young.
“Very much so,” the veteran coach said. “He really only has one full varsity season and one other partial season. Experience wise and skill wise he’ll be a much better player down the road.”
Barr thinks that Young will excel at Campbellsville.
“I think it is the perfect fit,” the coach pointed out. “His style fits them. His sister is there and it’s close. I think he’ll do well there.”
Campbellsville graduated five seniors from a 20-12 team last season and finished fourth in the Mid-South Conference. The Tigers came up one win short of the NAIA national tournament. Campbellsville reached the Final Four of the NAIA event in 2008.