GREENSBORO, N.C. (BVM) – Greensboro Day School has a history of sending graduates on to play college basketball, and Jaydon Young is the next big name to carve a path to the NCAA. Young is entering his senior season under legendary coach Freddy Johnson with aspirations not only to improve ahead of his college career at Virginia Tech but to bring home a title for the Bengals.
“The main thing is winning a championship,” Young said. “I haven’t won one yet. I feel like that’s my main challenge to accomplish this year. I feel like I’m that leader our team needs vocally on the court, and I feel like I can score the ball and guard the best players on the team. So that’s really what I’m trying to take on this year, just getting my team to the championship.”
While most people may think of the best high school basketball players as scorers, Young made his way onto the floor for Greensboro Day early by being a defensive stalwart. He was on a squad that had two players that went on to play in college, so he had to find a way to earn minutes early.
“It was a basketball school,” Young said about joining Greensboro Day as a freshman. “So I knew to get on the court, it would take me doing something different coming from the school where I was at. I was always the guy who could score. Coming here, I was behind Cam Hayes, I was behind guys like Carson McCorkle. So I felt like defense was gonna get me on the court, and ultimately it did.”
Johnson appreciates the effort that got Young onto the court as a freshman and led to him becoming the focal point of the Bengals. That effort spent on becoming a defensive force also translated into becoming a leader and the best player on the team.
“It’s been a joy for four years now,” Johnson said. “I told him on Saturday that every weekend, I lose another week with him. He stepped in as a freshman and played major minutes for us and has been very good every year. Got better every year, the co-player of the year last two years as a sophomore and junior in our conference. He’s done a great job for us.”
Johnson wasn’t the only one impressed with Young’s abilities. He has a relationship with Virginia Tech head coach Mike Young, and apparently, the Hokies’ head coach felt a similar way to Johnson.
“I’ve known Mike Young for a long time,” Johnson said. “One thing about him, he’s first class. I think in the recruiting process, I think he probably sold Jaydon when he came here in January and watched him play. After the game, we sat around, and Mike and I talked for an hour. At the time, I knew they were in the lead, and I think everyone else did too.”
Virginia Tech’s interest fit what Young wanted to do with his college career. It was the conference he wanted to play in from a young age, and the interest from the school couldn’t be denied.
“Since I was little, I always wanted to play in the ACC…” Young said. “Coach Young came in, the rest of the coaching staff came in, and everybody was really just focused on me as a person, more so than just the basketball player.”
While college basketball can be such a rough place sometimes, the genuine connection between Young and the Hokies coaching staff made it a slam-dunk for him. They appreciated him as a person and made him welcome.
That being said, Virginia Tech is getting a premier basketball player as well as a great person. Johnson hates to see him go, but he has been preparing Young not only to lead the Bengals to the championship but to be ready for his freshman year of college as well.
“He’s a winner, and he has won his entire career at Day School,” Johnson said. “He is a true winner, and he’ll do whatever it takes. Whether it was as a freshman, he was our fourth option on offense, to his sophomore and junior years when he was our best offensive player and our best defensive player. He’s learned to do everything for us…
“I want to push him… I think it’s fairly important for Jaydon to be at that level, major DI level, by the time he leaves us. He needs to be ready to go.”
Young is definitely up for being pushed. He sees himself as a competitor and a leader, so he welcomes the pressure from his high school coach and the pressure of playing in the ACC.
“They’re getting a competitor, a winner,” Young said. “I love to win. I’ll do whatever it takes for my team to get wins. Whether that’s clapping on the bench or scoring points or guarding the best players. No matter what, I’ll give it my all, my everything.”