ESPN 100 PF Mike Young picks Pitt

ESPN 100 PF Mike Young plays his high school basketball in New Jersey, but the Pittsburgh native is coming home to play his college ball. After considering several ACC, Big East and SEC programs, Young committed to Jamie Dixon’s Pittsburgh Panthers.

Young, No. 67 overall in the 2013 class, announced his decision at a family gathering in Pittsburgh, one day before leaving to return to St. Benedict’s. Family played a significant role in his decision.

“It was a major factor,” Young said. “I love my family and we’re all very, very close. It was a Pitt decision and they all believed that they would have seen me no matter where I went. Now my mother is only 25 minutes away and my little brother and sister is right here.”

Since the eighth grade, Young’s had a relationship with former Panther and current assistant coach Brandin Knight. Young wasn't always a Pittsburgh target; Knight was always an outlet for Young. As the relationship progressed, Dixon eventually came aboard and signed off on Young.

“The most memorable thing was Brandin being able to stick with recruiting me from eighth grade until now,” Young said. “He stuck with me even at times when he thought I wasn’t going to be a Pittsburgh player. Now I’m a player that he really wants. Coach Dixon went from calling me here and there to very often and that was the most memorable [part of the process].”

Young is now prepared to turn recruiter for his hometown Panthers. “I think the next big prospect is Jamel Artis (Baltimore/Vermont Academy) and BeeJay Anya (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha),” Young said. “They really like Josh Hart (Washington/Sidwell Friends). I think the next guy close to committing is Artis. Coach believes in players who can play together.”