BY DAN STICKRADT
MADISON HEIGHTS — James Young is about to be a part of an historic recruiting class at the University of Kentucky.
The 6-foot-7 senior swingman, who recently transferred to Rochester High from Troy High for his senior year after his family moved in July, announced Thursday that he has committed to Kentucky, the defending NCAA men’s basketball champions.
Young gave his oral at the KDL studios in Madison Heights, as part of a nationally-televised press conference aired on ESPNU. He is the third top-five ranked recruit to commit to Kentucky in the past week, as the Wildcats continue to bring in five-star recruits under coach John Calipari.
Young, the heavy favorite for Michigan’s Mr. Basketball for 2013, selected the Wildcats over offers from Michigan State, Kansas and Syracuse. He is ranked nationally as the No. 5 recruit by several scouting networks and in the top 10 in several more circles.
“Kentucky (has) always been my dream school,” said Young. “I’ve always dreamed of going to that school, and once I went up to go visit I just fell in love with the place. They have a great tradition and great coaching.”
As a junior, Young was named to the AP Class A All-State First Team, the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press All-State Dream Team, All-Oakland County, All-North Oakland Area and All-OAA White Division last season while still at Troy. He averaged 25.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game in helping the Colts win the OAA White Division title and reach the district finals.
He even had a 49-point effort in a win over state powerhouse Troy.
Kentucky recently picked up commitments from 6-5 twins Andrew Harrison and Aaron Harrison, as well as top-30 recruit Derek Willis. The Wildcats also have offers from two other top-10 players and two more top 30 recruits and have already solidified the nation’s top recruiting class for the third time in four years with the addition of Young.
Young will begin his senior season at Rochester when practices commence on Nov. 12. The Falcons, coming off a 22-2 season, return six players and two starters. Young should make Rochester a top-10 team in Class A once again.
His new high school coach, John Pleasant, is excited about the Falcons’ latest addition. Young is expected to become Rochester’s second Mr. Basketball following Paul Davis in 2002.
“It’s been a crazy week, but I know James is glad to have this done with,” noted Pleasant. “Kentucky is getting an exceptional class next year and James is a great talent.”
Ironically, Rochester defeated Young and his former school Troy back in February, 75-61.
Young blew up on the AAU circuit over the summer, 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.
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