Originally published May 3, 2012 at 03:35p.m., updated May 4, 2012 at 12:08a.m.

KU senior-to-be Kevin Young will try out for Puerto Rico senior national team

Kansas forward Kevin Young goes up for a reverse dunk during the first half of KU's game against Oklahoma State on Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.

Kansas forward Kevin Young goes up for a reverse dunk during the first half of KU's game against Oklahoma State on Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.


Kansas University senior-to-be Kevin Young will try out for Puerto Rico’s senior national team later this month.

If the 6-foot-8, 195-pounder from Perris, Calif., makes the squad, he’ll represent the U.S. commonwealth in the FIBA Olympic world qualifier July 2-8 in Caracas, Venezuela. A top-three finish in that 12-team tourney would vault Puerto Rico into the Olympics July 28-Aug. 12 in London.

“I am really excited. It’s a great opportunity and chance for me to get better at basketball,” said Young, whose mother’s parents were born in Puerto Rico, making him eligible to play for that team. “It’s a good opportunity to get my face shown over there, so if I don’t make it this time I can be there on the next try. It’s always fun to go back to Puerto Rico.”

Young competed for Puerto Rico in the FIBA U19 World Championships in July 2009 in Auckland, New Zealand. He averaged 7.7 points and 5.0 rebounds for 5-4 Puerto Rico. Led by KU senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, Team USA won the gold medal.

Young had 18 points and 12 boards against Lithuania.

“We played them in France and got into an altercation, and the game was called off. When we played them in New Zealand, we wanted to show them we were better than them (Lithuania),” said Young, who averaged 3.4 points and 3.0 rebounds while logging 11.4 minutes in 38 games at KU this past season.

“It was a great experience. It’s a lot different from college basketball, very physical. Playing for a nation is a bit more prideful. At the same time, it’s a lot prideful here at Kansas, too. I’m looking forward to seeing the comparison from here and there.”

Young, who said he weighs a solid 195 pounds after working out with trainer Andrea Hudy since the end of the season, said he’ll take final exams next week, head home to California to spend time with his mom, younger brother and sister, then attend tryouts at the end of the month in Puerto Rico.

“I’m totally on board for Kevin to get the opportunity to try out for Puerto Rico,” KU coach Bill Self said. “We are still a ways away from knowing details to see if he has a legitimate shot.”


ccarp 9 years, 7 months ago

Nice! I thought about Kevin when it was announced that Liana would be playing soccer for Columbia. It will be a great experience! Rock Chalk!

Andy Hess 9 years, 7 months ago

Legitimate question: How does Puerto Rico have a National Team when they aren't even a "nation"? Shouldn't they all just play for the US team?

minnhawk84 9 years, 7 months ago

Since when can Puerto Ricans not vote? They are US citizens and have had the right to vote in Presidential elections since 1917. What they don't have is representation in Congress......yet. That will take a constitutional amendment.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

Until 1961, residents of Washington DC couldn't vote for president because DC isn't a state. It would take a constitutional amendment for the residents of Puerto Rico to be able to vote for president.

ChicagoJHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

They can vote to nominate a candidate, but they can't vote in the actual presidential elections. I remember in 2008, something like 90% of them voted for Hillary, but again just for the Democratic nomination. In the actual election they were not able to vote for her, or any candidate. They're a US territory, not a state, so they don't have the same rights.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

They can vote but PR has no electoral votes..If they are residents living in the US, their vote counts as much as any other citizens.

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

The electoral college is still what determines who the president is and if there is no electoral votes, they have no say in who is elected president because the popular vote means nothing in a presidential election.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

A little research goes a long way...Islanders cannot vote in Presidential elections because Puerto Rico is not a state..those living in the US can and do vote.

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

Does Hawaii want its own team? Hawaiians don't Particularly like Americans and they were the only place in the US to have any form of royalty. Alohahawk any thoughts?

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

You've never been to Hawaii if you think that native Hawaiians think that they are americans. As a matter of fact many would like to severe all ties with the mainland ( not all of them, but many). Also they would not welcome you as a tourist into the neighborhoods that are off the beaten path.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

I was stationed 2 years in Hawaii and had nothing but good experiences..maybe its you?

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe you aren't very aware of your surroundings.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

Trained Law Enforcement Officer..Tactical Boarding Team. Served in Persian Gulf in 1st Gulf War.. I was always aware of my surroundings.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

lol and Hawaii is a state. PR has a unique relationship w/the US. They can vote for independence, remain a territory or become a state. Seems they like things as they are.

Nice USCG base in San Juan!

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

Missouri is a state and if they want their own team they could have it as far as I'm concerned. I would gladly severe all times from those idiots.

Alohahawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, I haven't responded before now, dylans. I've been off the board for a day (Had a tooth extracted and didn't feel too energetic). Most of the "pure blooded Hawaiians" would love to revert back to an independent nation. Which, of course, would be impossible simple because: Who owns what, and all the other legal concerns? That, and without the U.S. to defend it's shores, another country would have taken over long ago (ie. Remember Pearl Harbor). >Historians believe Hawaii was first discovered by migrating Tihitians around 750 A.D. On the evening of January 16, 1893, a contingent of resident Americans (ie. Businessmen) backed by American sailors, known as bluejackets, brandished two cannon through downtown Honolulu and were then quartered across from the Hawaiian government building, a short distance from Iolani Palace. The next afternoon, the revolutionaries took control of the government building and demanded that the reigning monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, abdicate the thrown. Thus, in the minds of the Hawaiian people, stealing the thrown. >Problem is, nowadays, there are very few pure blooded Hawaiians left, and there is no plurality of ethnic groups: Haoles and Japanese each make up about 30% of the population, Chinese - 20%, Philipinese (sp) - 10%. And even those groups are pretty much intermixed. I guess what I'm getting at is, even if Hawaii was still a nation, who would truly be representative of that nation? I'm only guessing, but there are probably less than 20% of all the population that has a minute portion of Hawaiian blood. >Besides, Hawaii has had numerous athletes participate in past Olympics, some of them having done quite well. IMHO, the overwhelming majority of people from Hawaii, of Hawaiian blood or otherwise, are happy with the status quo.

dylans 9 years, 7 months ago

Get feeling better. Thanks for weighing in on the matter.

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 7 months ago

The big question here is do we on the boards know enough not to shout "where is your green card" at players from Puerto Rico? I hope so.

Gary McCullough 9 years, 7 months ago

Puerto Rico is a territory of the U.S. As such it has more sovereignty than a state.

Gary McCullough 9 years, 7 months ago

Puerto Rico has a team because it is a political entity which has its own National Olympic Committee. Even though it is not an independent country, and for most purposes it is equivalent to the 50 states and the District of Columbia, it is distinct enough politically and culturally to be able to have its own Olympic team. Guam, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands.

The two main reasons why those four territories have their own Olympic committees are firstly, because the locals were able to raise the money and develop the infrastructure to have a team and secondly, because the USA's Olympic committee had no objection to this.

Usually, a nation-state has only one Olympic team, but there are other exceptions. Israel & Palestine have separate teams. So do the People's Republic of China, Taiwan ("Chinese Taipei") and Hong Kong. France has several Overseas Departments which have their own teams.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

As an unincorporated territory they have more sovereignty but what hey don't have is representation. There are no Senators or Representatives in the U.S. Congress.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 7 months ago

Kevin, good luck making the squad, improving your game and enjoying your summer. You took advantage of the opportunities HCBS gave you this past season, and I suspect you'll day the same with this.

yates33333 9 years, 7 months ago

You can be sure Young will play hard. He always did at KU. I liked his speed and style.

Gene Jackson 9 years, 7 months ago

U S Virgin Islands ( a territory) should have a team. Go Virgins!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

ST. Thomas is far and away the nicest place in the Caribbean that I had the chance to stay in the USCG, even if it was only for an extended law enforcement exercise.

ku_foaf 9 years, 7 months ago

They most certainly did at one time, I imagine they still do. Our own Milton Newton played for them!

texashawk10 9 years, 7 months ago

They do have a national team. I remember a few years ago that when the US national team played them in a tournament that Tim Duncan sat out because he didn't want to play against a team from his place of birth.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

Good luck Kevin..this experience might get you a starters position next year.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 7 months ago

UK & IU stopping their series--I hope that opens up an opportunity for KU & IU

If Bill Self left KU today, who would be the best hire?

BillSelf4Prez 9 years, 7 months ago

Maybe Danny after a couple years at Tulsa!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

I think marchphog88 is right on with Mark Turgeon. I guess there would be some question if you would accept since he just took the head coaching job at Maryland but I think he would jump at the chance.


Joe Dooley definitely deserves consideration. I see him moving on in the next couple of years to take on a head-coaching job.

Billy Gillispie. Not sure what happened in Kentucky but I believe he would have built them into a championship program in the style of Bill Self. His recruits might not be the one and dones but they are the type that develop. Examples: Patrick Patterson, DeAndre Liggins, Darius Miller and Alex Legion. Okay, maybe not Alex Legion. If he doesn't have a decidedly better year at Tech the season, I would move him down considerably.

Mark Montgomery at Michigan State. He has helped Izzo revitalize Michigan State in his 6+ years there and is known for his recruiting ability.

Russ Springmann from Texas. Without him, Rick Barnes would have no chance of bringing in the quality recruits whose talent Barnes continually wastes.

And finally, Joe Holladay. Not sure if we would ever hire another assistant from North Carolina but he does have strong connections to Kansas. I would list him as a slightly desperate reach.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 7 months ago

When you said Turgeon, my head about exploded.

1 target would be Brad Stevens from Butler.

2 would be Billy Donovan at Florida.

3 would be Tad Boyle at Colorado.

Let's hope we don't have consider this for the next decade.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

Really..why not Mark Turgeon? I should have listed Tad Boyle..great choice.

Donovan isn't going anywhere..he's built a nice program at Florida and likes it there.

And yeah..leave things as they are.

Sam Constance 9 years, 7 months ago

I think a reply like that--"my head about exploded"--needs a bit more explanation, no?

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

Ralster eating his spinach...going all Popeye...probably being right...but the bate splitting the difference on this one by saying Rodent-like Shaka has tools and could do the job, but pencil neck Brad has walked the talk to two straight Finals, something even Bill ain't done! so Brad too would be okay.

Alas neither guy is cool, like Bill is red clay cool.

Cool comes in many flavors, not just Yardbird Parker/Coltrane/ Miles Davis kind of cool. But it was the African Americans that brought this cool in men out into the open, because for a long time it was most of what Jim Crow allowed them to possess as their own.

But cool has been a part of greatness since the beginning of the species. Another name for it is charisma with a pair. It is aman who is not only technically terrific, but with an appealing style. Allen had it. You can see it in his pictures from the 1920s. It comes in many flavors but it is a common thread among many, but not all greats. Rupp was not cool. Wooden, despite the puritan exterior that Bill Self shares, that repressed it was intensely cool underneath.

Cool is getting who you are and being it with as much style and charisma as one's time and place permits. And it connecting deeply with others. Wooden was like a basketball Johnny Carson. White bread outside but able to connect with charisma.

JFK was cool. Ted Sorenson was not.

Reagan was cool. Bush the elder was not.

Bill Clinton is cool. Al Gore is not.

Obama is cool. Biden is not.

Cool does not guaranty success, It is just another tool. But it is rare and a serious edge.

Ted Owens and Harp, though technically brilliant, were not cool.

John McClendon was cool.

Roy had some cool, but not much.

LB has it in a little guy package.

Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman, McQueen, Clooney, Denzel, Roundtree, Poitier , Cosby had it.

Wilt, Oscar, Bill Russell and MJ have it.

Jerry West and Phil Jackson have it.

They are men with presence larger than their reputation.

This "it" can come in hicks from the sticks and boyz from the hoods and from the suburbs. It is beyond IQ, skill, and want to. The greats and near greats all have these attributes. But a few also have this presence.

Not all are great successes because of it, but it sure can help.

Desi Arnez and Javier Bardem had it. Antonio Banderas has it.

Frank and Bellafante had it.

Finding a genius who is also cool, in a slightly buttoned down sort of way suitable for KU...there's the rub. Its rare.

I hate to say it, but Cal has some of this cool in a suburban Pittsburgh/ western Pennsylvannia kind of way. But he is doing it with the unfair advantage, so he would be out.

Danny has some of it, but we'll see how much when he is more front and center as HC.

Whatever, we know it is part of what to look for.

Not all.

But part.

Allan Jackson 9 years, 7 months ago

"Led by KU senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, Team USA won the gold medal."

That seems a little misleading to me since Tyshawn was not a senior when they won the medal (freshman/sophomore?).

Cameron Cederlind 9 years, 7 months ago

FIBA U19 (Under 19) - I believe this was after his freshmen year.

ku_foaf 9 years, 7 months ago

I have gotten to be very fond of Kevin Young's play. He seemed to improve over the entire year. Remember he was out of competitive ball for awhile.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

I didn't know what to expect, and while I don't take extreme joy in other people's problems (unless they're Missouri related!) - I was ELATED to see that the article was not related to Puerto Rico or it's social/economical/political status.

So thanks for providing a sports related story!!

Dear God, please let football season get here soon.

RJ King 9 years, 7 months ago

perhaps the officer who ran him down could play linebacker at KU for a year or two?

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Hope he makes it. Absolutely free NCAA-approved competitive playing and training time which will be a bonus for KY in 2012-13!!

Having done business on both the islands of Puerto Rico and St.Thomas, I can totally vouch for the fact that, though Puerto Rico has some beautiful areas, St. Thomas has nothing remotely approaching anything less than delightful.

St.Thomas is almost like the "Nexus" from an old StarTrek just don't want to leave. At least for me in Puerto Rico, I could hardly wait to leave.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

What I said.. just not as well articulated.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

Turtle loses to hare. Slo-mo camera stuck in fast forward. Slo gin fizzes over. Eric "Slow Hand" Clapton has finger twiches. Slow boat to China on schedule. Take a slow ride on any AmRail Train

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

From the "This and $5.00 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks category":

The Class 2014 Recruits #s1,3,7 list Kansas and #s 2,4,5,10,11 list Kansas and have received an offer from KU. [Sorry, too lazy to list their names.]

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

That's ok. I heard Coach Self was going to honor TG by removing the names from the jerseys. So, from now on, we'll just refer to the BBall players by number.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

If I was a McDonald's All-American, no way I'm going to a school that doesn't print my name on my jersey.

And of course I want to pick my uniform number despite whether someone else is wearing it or if it has been retired.

Also, they need to have a shoe/uniform contract with the brand I prefer wearing. I would also need a guaranteed starting position as a freshman regardless of how I play.

Finally, I want my dad and mom to receive jobs at the University. Preferably ones that don't require showing up.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

one question - why does McDonalds have the market cornered on All-Americans ???

What's wrong with Burger King All-Americans? Or Jack in the Box? Five Guys and Fries?

DCLawHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Five Guys. That's perfect for basketball, plus Five Guys tastes WAY better than Mickey D's...

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

Good question. Let's get away from burger joints. How about a Domino's All-American? Or a Safeway All-American? Didn't Playboy at one time have their own All-Americans?

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 7 months ago

I believe Playboy still has their all americans. I do read the articles from time to time.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

Let's just concentrate on the late 2012 signing period or the class of 2013. Obviously, all coaches need to look three years into the future but there is absolutely no way to predict how good a high school sophomore will be by the time he is ready for college.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 7 months ago

jhawk7782....obviously you, me and nuleafjhawk have way too much time on our hands these days. :)

Did you get to shoot any drug smugglers or pirates while you served in the Coast Guard?

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Oakville - I'll tell you how "sad" I am - I'm actually busy!

I'm going out of my way to make time for this nonsense!!!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 7 months ago

Never.. not even when at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, the busiest Coast Guard sector.

The absolute scariest searches were in Basra searching ships coming into the Persian Gulf with suspected contraband.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Was that scarier than going to a Fizzou game in Columbia ???

Just kidding jhawk7782 - I have the utmost respect for the military and appreciate what you and so many others have done for our country. Thank You !!

Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 7 months ago

I'm assuming we'd all receive complementary tickets to Puerto Rico to watch our protege?

Tim Orel 9 years, 7 months ago

Careful when talking about tickets and KU players in the same post. Touchy subject...

Gil Ek 9 years, 7 months ago

Trying to decide who the next Head Coach at KU would be reminds me of a recent conversation I had with my 24 y/o stepson when I asked him if he had meet the girl he might marry someday. His reply, "That person hasn't been born yet!" Hope HCBS is here another 20+ years...

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

"TBGIF or Thank Basketball God Its Friday:"

~Kevin Young at 6-8 and 195 being able to play in the paint in XTReme D1 is one of the world's great unsolved mysteries.

~Kevin is so thin even his shadow is light.

~Andrea Hudy is worrying so much about how to put weight on Kevin and Jeff that she has lost twenty pounds herself.

~With Kevin and Jeff starting in the paint, the offense is changing from a double post to a double pole.

~I'm not saying Jeff and Kevin are light, but Self has Joe Dooley tie them to their beds on nights when there are wind advisories.

~Jeff and Kevin have been asked to star in a new basketball pic called "Slim and Slimmer."

~Travis Ford starting with EJ, BenMac, Jeff and Kevin is like the Incredible Hulk starring with four famine victims.

~If Milan Kundera were reanimated and given a visiting chair in the KU English department, he would take one look at next year's starting five and write "The Unbearable Slightness of Being."

~I'm not saying next year's starting five are thin, but they've all been offered jobs as lightening rods.

~KU's starting five next season are so skinny they use cheerios for hoola hoops.

~Next year's starting five are so skinny they tattoo their credit cards on their chests and swipe themselves through the card readers.

Hooo Haaa!

FoCoCoHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

All Time All Bean Pole Team

I'll start with George Gervin, throw in Manute Bol...I'm sure there are others.

Let's not decry Xtreme Muscle Ball on the one hand and dispararage svelte athleticism on the other.

jaybate 9 years, 7 months ago

No disparagement. Just having a little fun with what seems like a problem: fighting Mastiffs with Whippets. :-)

KansasComet 9 years, 7 months ago

Best wishes to Kevin Young. Great opportunity to gain some experience in preparing for an increased role next year.

REHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Puerto Rican hoops tryouts likely not to view any player with more energy and enthusiasm than KY. I hope that Kevin is selected and gets the experience. Can't help but bolster our strength for upcoming Jayhawk season. Would like to see him maintain 200 pounds throughout the 2012-13 season. He has been a very valuable find for Bill Self...huge loss for Coach Fisher out on the Coast.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 7 months ago

Anybody heard anything on Jakaar Sampson lately?


Alohahawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Just out: According to, Mark Lyons is headed to Arizona. Primarily, as he explained it, because of his Miller connections.

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