June 22, 2016

Young's second act

Kevin McCarthy

What do you do for an encore after winning a state championship? Next on the to-do list of Dwight Young Jr. will be teaming with Tydus Verhoeven in leading a Manteca High team minus Kenny Wooten Jr. and Anand Hundal to another successful season.

photo of Dwight Young

The 5-foot-11 Young averaged 13.0 points per game in 2015-16 as an outside shooter who created opportunities for Manteca's in-the-paint players. But what is't widely known is that Young finished at a remarkable 87 percent from the foul line in 147 attempts, the latter total placing him third on his team and demonstrating another aspect to his game.

Yet another item in Young's hoops résumé is leading the Buffaloes in scoring during the playoffs and enjoying one particular blazing stretch versus Albany in the NorCal playoffs in which he posted 18 points in just three or so minutes of play. After that outburst, Young experienced actual faceguarding from some opponents.

Manteca High Coach Brett Lewis said, "Dwight is growing as a player and [next season] will be expected to do more. Teams will be keying on him and it's a matter of learning how to effect the game in a well-rounded way. He got real hot against Albany and then when Bishop O'Dowd keyed on him he turned into a facilitator and got others involved."

Lester Diaz, Young's Nor Cal Renegades travel team coach, is not known for hyperbole. Regarding Young, he offered, "he has heart, he listens and adapts to what we tell him and he likes to be pushed. Dwight has good vision and knows how to read defenses. If he was 6-foot-2, he would have two or three offers by now."

Ask Young and he'll tell you that "my leadership on both my high school and AAU teams is my best skill. I try to lead by example and communicating with teammates. I'm supportive but we hold everyone accountable."

Despite his reputation as a sharpshooter, Young wasn't a natural, if such a thing actually exists. His degree of accuracy "took focus and working in the gym. It's the very first thing my Dad taught me." Since Young's freshman's year, "I've gotten better at attacking and scoring off the dribble." He continues bettering his craft because "I want to play in college so my goal is to always get better. I'm always trying to learn, there's no satisfaction. Two weekends ago, he was down in Santa Barbara at an Adidas camp designed for honing skills and learning from a number of top trainers. "It was learning all about peak performance through understanding body assessment and movement tests," Young said.

Possessing a 4.0 grade point average, he'll leave no questions about academically qualifying.

Let's see how the summer plays out as well as Manteca's encore season. The latter will be fascinating and telling regarding Young's collegiate address.