BY DAN STICKRADT
ROCHESTER HILLS — James Young, one the nation’s top high school boys basketball players, has left Troy High School and has enrolled in nearby Rochester High School.
Vic Fournier, athletics director at Rochester High, confirmed that Young and his family officially enrolled him at Rochester High on Tuesday.
Young sent out the announcement on his twitter feed earlier today.
“I first caught wind of the talk late last week, but he did officially enroll in the school (Tuesday)” said Fournier. “His mother bought a house recently in the district and came in and enrolled him. You hear rumors of kids transferring all the time. This was one of those we’ll-believe-it-when we see-it.”
Young, a 6-foot-7 senior-to-be, is ranked in the top 10 by numerous recruiting analysts. The swingman is the frontrunner for the 2013 Mr. Basketball award.
Young, who was an All-State First Team by the Associated Press, Detroit News and Detroit Free Press as a junior, averaged 25.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals a game at Troy, which was upset in the district finals by Waterford Mott last winter.
Young helped Troy win back-to-back OAA White Division titles and the Colts are slated to be moved up to the OAA Red Division due to returning most of its team this season.
Young had an exceptional summer on the AAU circuit, earning numerous accolades. Playing for the U-18 United States Developmental Team, he helped his squad win the Nike Global Challenge in Washington and earned MVP honors for the tournament.
Young has picked up scholarship offers from defending NCAA national champion Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State, Syracuse and Arizona, among others, in recent months.
John Pleasant, Rochester’s head boys basketball coach, said that “he has never had a conversation with James Young or his family about coming to Rochester” or has not spoken to Young personally.
Pleasant said that he received a phone call from Fournier Tuesday afternoon to confirm the transfer and has been flooded by texts and phone calls all day Tuesday. Pleasant said he also spoke to Troy High Boys boys basketball coach Gary Fralick on Tuesday to discuss the situation.
“I’ve heard the talk for a couple of weeks now. We’ve heard that he might transfer to a bunch of schools,” lamented Pleasant. “Having James obviously makes us a lot better.”
Young’s move to Rochester should keep the Falcons as one of the state’s better teams this winter.
Rochester is coming off a fine 21-2 season, as the Falcons lost just their first game of the season to Detroit Loyola and tied a school record with 21 straight wins before being upset by Lake Orion in the Class A district finals. Rochester, which counted a 75-60 win over Troy, was honorable mention in the AP polls last winter, when they captured their second straight OAA Blue Division crown.
The Falcons graduated eight players, including three starters, from that squad. Young is potentially the fourth transfer to enroll at Rochester since January for various reasons.
While at Troy, Young cracked the starting lineup as a freshman before becoming academically ineligible for the second semester that season. He started as both a sophomore and junior.
Repeated phone call to young and Fralick by NOS staff were unreturned as of 11 p.m. Tuesday night.
If Young is to earn the Mr. Basketball award, he would be Rochester’s second to earn that distinction. Paul Davis won the award in 2002 and eventually went on to play in a Final Four for Michigan State and had a short-lived career in the NBA.
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