March Madness is just right around the corner, and one of the stars expected to make this NCAA Tournament the best ever is the Big 12 Freshman of The Year, Trae Young. Get to know all about this Sooner star.
The future of basketball will be in the spotlight when the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, aka March Madness, kicks off on March 13. 68 teams will vie for the national championship and young stars like Trae Young, 19, will use this as a chance to put up some highlights before possibly entering in the NBA Draft. All eyes will be on Trae when the tournament starts, so get the details
1. He’s a hometown hero. Born in Lubbock, Texas, Trae grew up in Norman, Oklahoma. Naturally, he dreamed of playing basketball for the University of Oklahoma team. After Kentucky and Kansas fought to get him to sign, Trae decided to go with his first love and sign with the Sooners.
“I remember me being that kid growing up,” the point guard told the Associated Press, per the Washington Post, while observing kids who watched as he practiced in Jan. 2017. “Me being the kid that grew up going to games and being a ball boy and wanting a high five from [Oklahoma native] Blake Griffin or the other players. I don’t forget where I came from, so I like doing it because those kids look up to me like I used to look up to other people.”
2. He was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year… The Oklahoma Sooners are currently 8-10 in the Big 12 conference, tied for sixth with Texas, Oklahoma State, and Baylor. Despite this meager record, Trae has had an amazing year. He has a nation-leading average of 27.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, according to OUDaily, and he’s the first player in Big 12 history to score 800 regular-season points. These feats, despite Oklahoma’s record, were why he was named to the All-Big 12 First Team, the Big 12 Newcomer team and earned him the Big 12 Freshman of the Year Award.
3. …but missed out on being Big 12 Players of the Year. However, Trae missed out on one accolade: the Big 12 Player of the Year. That went to Devonte Graham, 23, the starting point guard for the Kansas Jayhawks. Trae has scored 281 more points than Devonte and has averaged 10 points more per game, per Fansided. Yet, Kansas is 13-5 in the Big 12, so many think the Sooner’s trash record sunk Trae’s chances.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t get player of the year, but I know winning matters,” he said. “I wish we could’ve won more games. I’m very disappointed. But if that was the case, Kansas should have the last 14 Players of the Year, but I’m very honored for the awards I got, so I’m ready to get it going again.”
4. He hasn’t said if he’s going to enter the draft – yet. “Right now, my focus is on this team,” Trae said on March 1, regarding if he will declare himself eligible for the 2018 NBA Draft. “After this season, I’ll sit down with my family and we’ll discuss my future. But right now, that’s not my focus. After the season, I’ll focus on that stuff.”
5. Trae’s got some fans who want him in the NBA. “What decision?” LeBron James, 33, said while talking with ESPN about Trae’s weighing whether or not he’ll join the NBA. “That’s like saying my waking up this morning — that ain’t no decision. Brushing my teeth — that ain’t no decision. He better go pro.” Be sure that King James will be watching March Madness to see if Trae can take his Sooners all the way to the national title.