It’s hard to introduce a freshman who is already so well known by his school’s fan base. But Trae Young isn’t your average freshman.
It’s rare to see a star high school player continue his basketball career in the same city he was raised in, especially a player with the accolades of Young. Yet, here he is preparing for his freshman season at the University of Oklahoma, a stone’s throw from his now former stomping grounds of Norman North High School.
Rated as a five-star recruit by 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout, Young (6-2, 170) is the highest-rated prospect to sign with the Sooners during head coach Lon Kruger’s tenure. Recruiting outlets consistently listed Young as a top-three point guard in the nation and one of the top overall high school players in the country by Rivals (14th overall), ESPN (15), 247Sports (18) and Scout (21).
Now Young has an opportunity to add to his already long list of accomplishments at OU, and to do it in a place that’s close to his heart.
“Being able to represent my city, and not only my city but my state, is a wonderful feeling,” said Young. “It’s going to be fun.”
Many Sooner fans have already seen the high school mixtapes of the deep 3-pointers and crafty moves – but one key attribute both Young and Kruger have emphasized is the point guard’s ability to create for others.
“I’m a high-speed point guard,” said Young when asked to describe his game. “A guy that likes to get everybody involved but can also really score the ball and can contribute to this team right away.”
Young and his fellow newcomers, who will all be featured throughout the month of July on SoonerSports.com, joins a young core of Sooners who have one season of playing together under their belt. Adding a new point guard to a current core can normally be a challenge, but Kruger isn’t worried.
“I’m not concerned about it because Trae’s a good player,” said Kruger. “He makes good basketball plays, and he obviously can score, but he’s got great vision. He’s a very good passer, a point that can push it and keep pressure on the defense and I think create points for teammates.”
Young will have the added bonus of additional summer time to gel with his teammates. The Sooners are heading to Australia and New Zealand for a foreign exhibition tour in August, allowing them 10 extra practices. In just a few weeks on campus in preparing for the trip, the freshman is already growing his game and learning from his new head coach.
“It’s amazing playing for Coach Kruger – playing for a legend and a future Hall of Famer,” said Young. “You can go on and on describing how great Coach Kruger is and how great of a guy he is. It’s amazing playing for him and I can’t wait to continue to learn.