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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Clay Young looking forward to ‘emotional’ senior night

Kansas guard Clay Young hugs teammates Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) and Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) following the Jayhawks' 74-72 win over Texas Tech on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena.

Kansas guard Clay Young hugs teammates Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (10) and Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) following the Jayhawks' 74-72 win over Texas Tech on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 at United Supermarkets Arena.

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Lubbock, Texas — Now that he’s had a chance to catch his breath, Clay Young can finally think up his speech.

Well, he'd better hurry. Senior night is tomorrow.

“It’ll be pretty emotional,” said the senior walk-on after KU secured its 14th straight Big 12 title with a 74-72 win at Texas Tech. “Spent the last three years of my life giving everything I’ve got to the program.”

Young will be one of three KU seniors (Devonte' Graham, Svi Mykhailiuk) honored as the Jayhawks take the floor on Monday against Texas.

The JUCO transfer joined the University in 2015 while recovering from an ACL injury that cut his sophomore season at Kansas City Kansas Community College short. His recovery on the court gave him a chance to play a key role in a KU win in Miami early in his senior season but it was his personality, KU coach Bill Self said, that left a mark on the team off the court.

“Clay has been great,” Self said. “He’s been great for Udoka (Azubuike) — a voice of reason and maturity around him and others.”

Young, who said he hadn’t given much thought to the day while the Jayhawks were chasing a Big 12 title, was asked about his greatest career highlight. Prodded with the game against Syracuse earlier this year, Young agreed that it was “probably my best game.”

Self, looking back on the senior’s season, couldn’t help but agree. In the Jayhawks’ 76-60 win, Young stepped in with both Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot in foul trouble. At that point Silvio De Sousa had not yet joined the Jayhawks, and James Sosinski wasn't with the program either.

Young, the only option left on the bench, played 12 minutes in the first half, defending a 7-foot-2 big man in Paschal Chukwu and limiting the Syracuse bigs to a single shot attempt.

"Clay hasn’t had a chance to play but he actually helped us win a couple games this year," Self said. "He played great against Syracuse.”

“I think senior night will hopefully top that,” Young added.

Young, like the other KU seniors, will have plenty of family in attendance as he takes the floor. He said after the game he hopes to have his parents, both sets of grandparents and his brother at the game, which Self confirmed he will indeed start.

Young, who is a sports management major at KU, said he wasn’t set on his future plans yet, though he could see himself getting into coaching down the line. For the present, he said, Young is just looking to just take all of it in.

“It’s just a special place to go to school,” Young said of KU. “It’s been pretty special the whole time. I’m going to be pretty sad when it’s all over.”

Comments

Brian Skelly 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Senior Night is pretty cool everywhere, but there's no question KU does it as good as anyone out there. Congrats to Clay. Hopefully he gets some good minutes out there.

RJ King 9 months, 2 weeks ago

"Senior Night is pretty cool everywhere."

Well except at Kentucky where Senior Night is cancelled this year due to a lack of ... Seniors.

Gary McCullough 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Will Senior Night festivities be available outside the Jayhawk Network?

Dave Miller 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I hope that KUSports.com will have a lot of video of it, because these guys certainly deserve it.

Dirk Medema 9 months, 2 weeks ago

They usually post videos. It's not real time, but you still get to see it.

RJ King 9 months, 2 weeks ago

There are usually some within 24 hours on youtube or here. Typically the sound is really bad and hard to understand what the players are saying. If you check back here in 2-4 days, there have been better versions available with good sound quality.

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