Harrington Gardiner | Staff Writer
Photo Credit: Jim Heath / Director of Sports Information
Despite accomplishing so many achievements and receiving so many awards this season, Nylah Young has one goal in mind: a championship for the Lady Pirates.
The freshman’s season so far has included winning the Big South conference freshman player of the week. Young has been averaging 15.3 PPG, 11 Reb and 2.3 steals this season.
Nylah is from Suffolk, Virginia with an undecided major. She’s been playing basketball since she was six years old. Young played AAU basketball and she also played all four years of high school basketball at Kings Fork High School.
Since a young age, Young has been inspired by three basketball players: Candice Parker, LeBron James and most importantly her father. Nylah’s dad played overseas after playing at the University of Maryland and East Carolina.
“He’s been my inspiration because he’s been playing all his life too, so I wanted to play since I was young, and it just stuck with me,” Young said.
The decision to attend Hampton University came from her desire to be closer to home. Hampton also had a family atmosphere that was unlike any other school.
“When you go other places they pretend, but I felt like when I came here, I was treated like real family,” she said. “[Hampton’s] basketball program is great and I decided to go someplace where I’d fit in and become a threat as soon as I get there.”
Nylah also discussed the bond she has with her teammates and coaching staff and how that has had an impact on her successful freshman season.
“They’re always pushing me to do better and when it comes to my teammates, we love each other. Yes, we fight sometimes but in the end we know the common goal and we love each other. The coaches push me to especially Coach Six. He pushes me every day and he’s on me constantly in practice and everyone can attest to that, but he just wants me to do well so that’s why he pushes me to do better.”
With success comes adversity, and Nylah talked about the roadblocks she went through in high school while she went through a frustrating recruiting process.
“The whole recruiting process for me in high school was terrible. In high school, I thought that colleges were going to look at me and be interested in me but that wasn’t the case. Eventually, people thought that I couldn’t play basketball at the next level and that just made me want to work harder. Hampton gave me a chance and that’s why I came here as well.”
Nylah wants to continue to improve by working out this offseason and staying in the gym. She emphasized conditioning and working on her core to continue to add to her muscle. She also wants to take on a leadership role next year and keep the freshman focused on team goals instead of individual accolades.
“It’s good to have self-goals and accolades but at the end of the day, I want that championship and that’s the message I want to send to the incoming freshmen.”
Young doesn’t intend on stopping her basketball career, and when asked what she wants to do in the future after graduation, she discussed being a doctor or playing overseas.