Sophomore basketball player and nursing major at the Island University, Emma Young, has a lot on her plate, but that doesn’t stop her from scoring points in the game and in life.
During Young’s senior year in high school, she posted a career best of 44 points. Since joining the Islanders basketball team in 2016, she has continued to impress. In 2016, with the help of Young and her fellow freshman teammates, the women’s basketball team reached semifinals at the Southland Conference Tournament for the first time since 2010. Scoring 35 percent of all points throughout the 2016-2017 season, Young and her teammates have set the bar high for this season and those to come. She said her success comes from many different places, but especially her teammates and coaches.
“The players were always super nice from the beginning, these girls are some of my best friends,” Young said. “I feel like we’re going to have a really good season, and we’ll continue to be successful with how close we are.”
When Young first joined the Islanders basketball team a year ago, she and her teammates were called to change the character of the program and steer it towards success.
“We just had to figure out who cared about the game and who didn’t,” Young said. “Now the culture of the program is amazing because we are all so close and committed.”
Young said the players are always encouraging of each other and the coaches are never afraid to vocalize what players are doing right or wrong. She said this balance of tough love and encouragement is what shapes the team into the mold of success they strive for.
“Making the program close helps us win games as a team,” Young said. “I just love the environment here. We are all tied together on the court, and you can see that.”
Despite the stress of playing five different positions this season, Young said the encouragement of her peers and coaches sets her up for success.
“I know that when I mess up, I’ve got to take any chance I can to make it up,” Young said. “In this game, you mess up. A lot of times you mess up more than you make plays, so having that support system behind you is important.”
Head coach Royce Chadwick said in only a year, Young has made leaps and bounds as a student athlete and expects many more great things from the sophomore.
“The one thing you can count on about her is she consistently plays as hard as she can play,” Chadwick said. “She fights through her mistakes and has already become a better player because of her experience.”
Chadwick said he recognizes Young’s development both on and off the court since she first started playing at the Island University, commending her success in both academics and athletics.
“She is an outstanding basketball player, but more than that she is an outstanding young lady,” Chadwick said. “She works hard in her classes and she works hard on the court. There’s not much more you could ask for.”