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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Kevin Young Halifax favorite

Kansas forward Kevin Young smiles as he and his teammates shoot around during a day of practices and press conference for teams in the South Regional at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, March 28, 2013.

Kansas forward Kevin Young smiles as he and his teammates shoot around during a day of practices and press conference for teams in the South Regional at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, March 28, 2013.

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Former Kansas University forward Kevin Young emerged as one of the best players in the National Basketball League of Canada this past season.

Young, 24, who played for the NBL runnerup Halifax Rainmen, averaged 22.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.2 steals a game during the regular season. In nine playoff games, he averaged 22.4 points and 11.7 boards and, according to the Halifax Chronicle Herald “became a fan favorite at Scotiabank Center (home arena).”

Young, who played on KU’s 2012 NCAA runner-up team, said he enjoyed his one and perhaps only (more on that later) season in Canada.

“These guys love playing basketball just like I do. There’s a great bunch of guys, a great coaching staff and a great organization. It’s still a young league, and, I mean, there’s a lot of things to learn from this year and future years, but it’s getting a lot better,” the 6-foot-8, 190-pound native of Perris, California, told the Chronicle Herald.

The only negative?

“There’s a lot of snow, that’s the first thing. I’m looking outside, and that’s the first time I’ve seen the grass since I got here,” he told the paper.

Young and all his Rainmen teammates have been mired in controversy the past week. They were fined $5,000 apiece and suspended indefinitely for forfeiting Game Seven of the league’s championship series in Windsor, Ontario.

The Rainmen and Windsor Express got into a fight at shootaround the morning of the title game. Halifax merely didn’t show up for Game Seven citing “safety concerns for its players and coaches.”

At a news conference to discuss the controversy, Young told The Canadian Press he and his teammates felt targeted during the series by Windsor players. Young told The Press that owner Andre Levingston first supported the team’s decision to forfeit, then pressured the squad to play a few hours later.

“As someone we put our trust in ... I honestly felt disappointed in him because there was no regard to our safety at all. It’s like he’s just turned his back on us and threw us under the bus and said that this was our decision, when he was there with us to make the decision,” Young said.

The league has appointed former KU forward David Magley, head coach and general manager of the Brampton A’s, to conduct an investigation of the entire incident.

“I don’t think there’s any possible way of spinning this in a positive manner,” Magley told the Toronto Star. “The only thing as a league we can do is face it full frontal, be honest, be open, (and) have integrity. We’ve got to restore faith in our paying fans.”

Meanwhile, Young is expected to soon join Brujos de Guayama of the Puerto Rico League, which started play in early March. In his career he has also played for Halcones UV Xalapa in the Mexican League. He plays for Puerto Rico’s national team as well.

“There’s no place like Kansas and the fans are amazing and the atmosphere is unbelievable and I do miss it a lot,” Young told the Chronicle Herald. “But I go home after every season and I actually moved my mom out there (to Lawrence), so her and my little brother and my little sister live out there now, so I get to go back a lot.”

More on Magley: Brampton coach Magley, who was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, is KU’s No. 52 leading scorer of all time. He led the Jayhawks in scoring his senior year (1981-82). Prior to taking over the Canadian League team two years ago, he spent 11 years coaching high school ball at Bradenton Christian in Florida. According to Yahoo! Sports Canada, Magley’s teams reached the state finals four times, and 27 players went on to play in college.

“At this level of professional basketball, so many of my players have been accustomed to having to get their own numbers because they’re always working for their next job,” Magley told Yahoo!. “The most rewarding thing is when you can get guys who have been pros for a long time to get past that.

“Basketball is the most popular youth sport played in Canada today. It’s really become a breeding ground for a great sport,” he added.

More camp news: Cole Aldrich of the New York Knicks will not be running a camp this year in Lawrence. Former KU standouts Jeff Gueldner and Mark Randall instead have taken over the camp and are calling it “The Kansas Old School Basketball Camp.” It will be July 20-23 at St. James Academy in Lenexa. For information email jgueldner@comcast.net.

Howland praises Self: New Mississippi State coach Ben Howland was in town to watch some KU practices last season and to speak at KU coach Bill Self’s coaches clinic.

He told SI.com he studied, “Bill Self’s offensive system. He’s won 11 straight conference championships. I think it’s one of the most amazing accomplishments in modern day basketball. If you look at the last 50 years, no coach has done more than him. Period. Their system, how they isolate the post, he does a great job at both ends of the floor, defensively. His system is really unique in the amount of success he’s had in it.”

Howland also attended practices of Tom Izzo of Michigan State and Sean Miller of Arizona.

“All the different sets, all the different things they run, the camaraderie they have with the kids is really good, the facilities are incredible. This year, was the greatest example of how good he is in getting the most out of his team and his ability. Because when I watched them, I would’ve never thought they were going to be a Final Four team this year,” Howland told SI.com.

“Sean Miller has done a great job. His biggest strength is the defensive end, where he does a great job. That makes me feel good, because that’s what I did in the Pac-12 when I first got there (at UCLA). He’s done an incredible job in a short amount of time in terms of instilling a culture there that’s going to be long lasting.”

Comments

Ron Sterling 7 years, 1 month ago

With all due respect to Mr Howland, Coach K does have 5 NCAA titles in the past 30 years, and Wooden's 10 title run was in it's 2nd or 3rd year (depending on how you start counting). He's a great coach, but Self's got a long way to go to reach those lofty heights. Still, he's relatively young and, as it looks less and less likely that he'll be tapped by the NBA any time soon, he's got plenty of time to add to his legacy.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 1 month ago

Agreed. The modern Mount Rushmore of Men's College Basketball (the last 50 years) would probably include Coach K, Wooden, Williams, and Knight. That's who I'd put on mine anyways...

If we're talking about the last 25 years, then there's a good chance Bill Self's getting chiseled in. You'd still have Williams and Konsonants. That would leave two spots for Izzo, Calhoun, Pitino, Calipari, Donovan and Self. Tough!!

Jay Hawkinson 7 years, 1 month ago

For the past 50, I'd definitely put Dean Smith ahead of Roy.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 1 month ago

You're right! I forgot about Dean!! Good call!

Mike Riches 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah there's a guy named Wooden who had a pretty good run in the last 50 years. However Ben Howland is not very likely to go around bragging about UCLA right now...

Rodney Crain 7 years, 1 month ago

Does Ben Howland post on here under a different name?

Chris Oestreich 7 years, 1 month ago

I miss K. Young! The dude always played hard and with a smile on his face. We need another guy or two like him. Please HCBS find us another K. Young!

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 1 month ago

I loved watching KYo play. Especially how he sometimes would put a little something special into his screens across the paint when he wanted to make a statement. He may have looked like a stringbean but he could hit pretty hard when he wanted to. What he lacked in size and skill he made up for in savvy.

RJ King 7 years, 1 month ago

My favorite Kyo image is when he raised his hand to take the foul call away from Withey (and the refs bought it), who would've foul out of one of the Madness games (Ohio State? Carolina?).

Love his recent season numbers. He was one of the best blue collar garbage players in his too brief KU career. He could've feasted on all the missed bunnies this past year.

Most of all I miss that smile. What a joy to watch!

Benz Junque 7 years, 1 month ago

That was @Iowa State. Their fans still complain about it.

RJ King 7 years, 1 month ago

thanks benz. I knew it was a significant game.

Josh Galler 7 years, 1 month ago

If KU needs a player or two for this summer since svi and Chieck can not play in the games, would KY be eligible since he is under 25 and not playing NBA

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 1 month ago

Only if he took college classes this past year which I don't believe he did so I don't think he's eligible.

Lex Valdez 7 years, 1 month ago

Kevin Young will always be a Jayhawk! Rock Chalk!

Michael Bratisax 7 years, 1 month ago

I never thought Young got the credit he deserved. The kid from Loyola was instant energy.

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