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James Young is Proof that NBA Cats Help Recruiting


You probably saw the post earlier about James Young’s profile on, and in my opinion, it was the best so far.

Not because I’m partial to James Young, which I am, but because he gives a little nugget in the middle that highlights something very important:  Tayshaun Prince was one of his favorite players growing up.

Well Tayshaun is a lot of UK fans’ favorite player.  And it makes sense that a Michigan kid likes one of the most consistently good Pistons of the last decade; that’s no surprise.  But it points out something that’s really encouraging to UK, and that’s that Cal’s not recruiting on his own.  The NBA is helping.  And not just the NBA, but the NBA players.

If James Young wants to be the next Tayshaun, how long until point guards in Washington want to be the next John Wall (instead of the next Chris Paul)?  Skinny power forwards from Nawlins will want to be the next Anthony Davis, instead of the next Marcus Camby.

This is something we’ve known, or at least suspected for a long time.  The NBA has long been a selling point for Kentucky, insofar as they want to get there quickly.  But once Cal saturates the league with grads, players from North Carolina will want to be the next MKG.  Centers in California will want to play for the coach that mentored DeMarcus Cousins.

This is the next step in completing Lexington’s grasp on both the NBA and college basketball.  If high schoolers are coming to Kentucky not just to make the jump, but to emulate their favorite former Wildcats, how much better is recruiting going to be in a few years when the NBA has more Kentucky players than ever before?

So, if you were worried that today’s players no longer relate to Kentucky’s history, James Young just put that to rest.  Which is good news for a tradition-rich, players-first program with eyes on the future.

Article written by Corey Nichols

3 Comments for James Young is Proof that NBA Cats Help Recruiting

  1. Go Big Blue
    7:52 pm September 12, 2013 Permalink

    Corey, this is one of my favorite posts I’ve read here, and you are right; I was floored when Young said Prince was one of his favorite players growing up. I really can’t wait for the season! #BBNine

  2. cracka
    8:26 pm September 12, 2013 Permalink

    when wall was hitting a game winner in his first uk game, these kids in the class of 2014 were just starting the 7th grade watching on sportscenter

  3. cotton
    10:18 pm September 12, 2013 Permalink

    >>>>James Young is Proof that NBA Cats Help Recruiting

    No doubt. And like you say, should only be more important as Cal puts more in the NBA. And I too am partial to James Young. He’s gonna shine brightly for BBN.