“And that place of peace for me in the fall of 2017 will be … at the University of Oklahoma,” Trae Young, told the crowd at the Norman North senior basketball star’s commitment announcement.
From future OU underclassmen.
To senior super star status with some viral views.
To being a baby face freshman.
While hugs and happiness were plentiful this week was the end of one chapter of Trae’s life.
“I’ve had tears the last few days just thinking about the journey it’s taken to get me to this point today,” Trae said. “I’m sad that it’s over with, but it’s also exciting to start what’s new.”
While Young’s made his way through mountains of mail, and basketball’s blue bloods.
He eventually selected to stay home as a Sooner amongst friends and family.
Maximizing his time with those closest to him.
“I felt the ultimate part was just staying home and being different,” Trae said. “Being able to represent my home state, my home city, right here in the 405.”
“I’m excited that he’s just down the road, and I’m looking forward to him calling and saying, ‘hey mom, meet me on campus for lunch,’ or things like that,” Candice Young, Trae’s mother, said. “So I’m looking forward to those little moments that we can share together.”
Young now joins the likes of Alvan Adams, Blake Griffin and other locals to call the Lloyd Noble Center home.
All that’s left for Trae to do is sign with the Sooners.
If the teenager’s future seem stable he’s already impacting the live of the state’s next stars.
Mentoring two different middle schoolers who want what Trae has, and maybe even more.
“It makes me sometimes come play with him,” Caylen Goff-Brown, Tulsa middle school student, said. “He’s a great player, and I just strive to be a better player than him.”
“What is there to say, just by looking at what he’s doing,” Jeremiah Johnson, Oklahoma City middle school student, said. “He’s already making the next level. He’s about to do good in the McDonald’s All American game. He’s probably going to do good in college too. I just know he’s a good player, and he works really hard. He’s competed with a lot of the best players in the country already. I want to do that, and a little bit more kind of."
Making an impact with the two teens was something Trae just couldn’t pass up.
“I hope it takes those kids back, and makes them work even harder,” Trae said. “And just know that I used to be in their shoes. They can be in the same position that I am as long as they work hard, give glory to God and just keep their priorities straight, and it can happen for anybody.”
“We don’t talk about it very much, but we knew who Blake Griffin was when he was in high school, Ray Young, Trae’s father, said “We knew who Xavier Henry was when he was in high school. Oklahoma basketball has some talent, and hopefully Trae was able to set a precedent to where now people across the nation can realize that, man, there are some people in that state that can play some basketball. And we need to take notice."
At this crossroads of his career and life Trae knows all the steps taken to this point were worth it.
“Just to see that it takes all of that to get to where I’m at right now I wouldn’t trade it for anything," Trae said.