Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Fresh off winning the Peach Jam championship on Sunday afternoon, Trae Young is now with the USA U18 National Team and hoping to win a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Chile.
“I had the opportunity to win Peach Jam, probably the best tournament in high school basketball,” Young said by phone from Houston. “And to go win a gold medal is, I feel like a great summer for me. I’m excited. Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity for that.”
Young is now playing with his MoKan Elite teammate Michael Porter Jr. — the two were Co-MVPs of the Peach Jam — and also with Mohamed Bamba and Quade Green of the PSA Cardinals, the team MoKan vanquished 93-65 in Sunday’s final.
“We’ve had some teasing moments,” Young said. “When I saw Mo when I got off the plane and got down to baggage claim, he didn’t even want to look at me. He was just joking. We compete on the floor but when we’re off the court we’re really close friends and we have fun playing.”
Young and Green may be the two top point guards in the Class of 2017 and they are now teamed up — or at least until Thursday’s cuts.
“Having the backcourt with me and Quade and then the stars on the wing and in the post, too,” Young said.
Incoming Washington guard Markelle Fultz “is playing a lot on the wing right now,” Young said. “But he’s doing really well. It’s very fun the way, his game is so unorthodox to me. He’s going to be a crazy pro, he’s going to be so good, and I can’t wait to get to play with him, too.”
On recruiting, Young hasn’t yet cut his list but plans to get down to “five or six” soon. He has already told a couple of schools he’s no longer considering them. Sources said Oklahoma, Kentucky, Kansas and Washington remain in the mix, with Texas and Oklahoma State as dark horses.
“I did that to around two or three schools already, just so I wouldn’t be wasting their time with them trying to recruit me and me not even feeling it,” Young said.
Washington on Monday added 2017 point guard Blake Harris, but with Fultz projected as a top-5 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Huskies still have room for more guards.
“No, it really doesn’t [impact me] because I’m not afraid of competition,” Young said. “I can go anywhere and play. With my ability I feel I have a different style of game than a lot of players. I’m not afraid of competition, Blake is a great player. It doesn’t affect my feelings for Coach [Lorenzo] Romar and the staff and the University of Washington.
“They let me know before he announced that he was going to be committing and stuff like that.”
Washington is expected to land Porter Jr., and is hopeful of adding Young, too. The duo combined for 61 points in Sunday’s Peach Jam final.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.