Trae Young's future is already at his fingertips at just 17 years old.
Through plenty of work with his AAU team and with Norman North High School he's become the state's top junior and a top 20 nationally ranked player through the game he loves.
“It means everything,” Trae said. “I treat it like that. I treat it like my job. I want to play this game as long as it will take me. God has definitely blessed me with talent, and I’m going to use it to my full ability.”
Norman North head man Bryan Merritt's been coaching 19 years, and says talent's like Trae's don't come running your way very often.
“You don't have very many guys like that,” Merritt said. “You're lucky to have a couple division one players if you coach 30 years. I've never had anybody put the numbers up like him consistently from game to game.”
Always there to lend a helping hand for Trae is his father, Rayford, a former star at Texas Tech the two Young men are close and Dad is always there for his son to lean on.
“This isn't about me,” Ray said. “This isn't about anyone else but Trae. It's his dream, and as a father I’ve got to help him achieve his dreams. I feel that's part of my role, so it's nothing that's been forced on him. He's always been a basketball player. He's always played different sports. He's at the highest level at this point than anyone in my family has ever been, so it's been pretty exciting just to see how it's all unfolding.”
Trae's recruitment has exploded, receiving eight to ten letters each day not to mention texts and calls.
The Young's want to read up on as much as they can before naming four to five finalists this summer then picking a college home around the start of Trae's senior year.
“I know I can only do this once, so I'm enjoying it,” Trae said. “Just having fun. I know there's going to be some ups and downs, but I’m enjoying it with my family and friends.”
“It's just a matter of staying humble, and keeping god first,” Ray said. “Making sure that it's a journey. It's a marathon, once again, it's not a sprint. It's just been about maintaining your poise and doing things the right way. That's really helped us.”
On top of a college choice, Trae is shuffling around the idea of a prep school for his senior year.
A decision that comes with pro's and con's.
“Playing against some of the top players in the country every day, and practicing with them is going to be fun, but there's also a negative,” Trae said. “I won't be able to get a home cooked meal from my mom. Won't get to see my brother or my sisters.”
Young wasn't always viewed as a top 20 recruit in the basketball world.
In fact, as a kid Trae played up an age group on team's, and as his dad, Ray, described his son was sometimes viewed as a younger tag along.
Now that the likes of Kansas, Kentucky and even his hometown Sooners have come calling relationships have changed, but that's helped the teenager realize who has his best interests at heart.
“Back then it didn't matter,” Trae said. “We were just playing for fun, and we were just better friends back then. That's definitely one thing that I’ve had to overcome and struggle with is keeping some of the friends that I have now close, and just keeping my head on straight and know where I want to go.”