Q&A: Trae Young On OU Commitment, Relationship With Westbrook & Durant
Recent OU commit and Norman North five-star point guard, Trae Young, took the time to talk with News9.com before his appearance on Sunday's Oklahoma Ford Sports Blitz.
Young discussed the recruiting process, his love for OU, along with his relationships with Buddy Hield, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Here's what he had to say:
On choosing OU over traditional basketball schools like KU, Kentucky and Duke…
Young: “Every kid dreams about getting recruited by those blue-blood schools, those big-time named schools. Most kids would jump at those schools to say they’re going, but whenever it actually happens you have to sit back. It’s a bigger picture than just going to a school just because of the name and the tradition there. But it was very tough at times.”
On being able to openly cheer for OU in Bedlam…
Young: “It was definitely weird, but to be honest I’ve always cheered and always wanted Oklahoma basketball to win whether I went there or not, just because this is my state and my city and I’ve always wanted them to do well. I was really hoping they’d get it done in Bedlam, but another loss by less than five points.”
On if he feels like he can be the difference in those close games...
Young: “I can’t wait until I’m there so I can help those guys end ballgames. They’re winning in mostly every game, it’s just the end of games, in crunch time, they’ll mess up or something and things will go wrong, but you can tell how talented they all are, just by during the game they get up and they get big leads too but right now they just can’t finish.”
On how close he is with current OU players…
Young: “In the offseason I played pickup with them. When Buddy [Hield] here we played pickup, ever since Buddy was a freshman. I’ve known these guys for awhile now. Kam [McGusty], I’ve known him since high school, we played on the circuit together. They’re all good and cool people to hang out with off the court too.”
Since they’re your friends, did they recruit you at all?
Young: “We talked about more than just basketball, but every now and then, of course, they would throw in a Boomer Sooner or let me know how much they really wanted me here.”
Has McGusty talked to you about the potential of OU’s backcourt next season?
Young: “We both feel like we can be the best backcourt in the Big 12 and one of the best in the country. We joke around that we may be the best backcourt that can’t dunk in a game. We can both score, we can both do all that, but we’re not going to flash you with athleticism. But we’ll score and we’ll be one of the best backcourts in the country.”
On his relationship with Kevin Durant…
Young: “KD was one of the first people who text me congrats and that I made a great choice right after I had committed. He’s always going to be a supporter of me. I even think he may attend a game, that’s how much of a supporter he is. He’s a great supporter to me, and I really look up to him.”
On his relationship with Buddy Hield…
Young: “When I went on my visit over Ohio State weekend I talked to Buddy a lot that weekend. He’s always been supportive of me, he wanted me to do what’s best for me and not just lean me towards OU. But of course he definitely wanted me to be a Sooner. He congratulated me quick too. Buddy’s a really good friend of mine, and so it’s going to be cool now that I’m a Sooner.”
Is this a firm commitment to OU?
Young: “I can’t go to no other schools. It would have to be something dramatic, something big for me to go to another school.”
On former OU football players tweeting him after his commitment…
Young: “That was cool. I didn’t expect guys like Gerald McCoy to tweet me. I got some crazy tweets. Aaron Colvin, some of those guys, Zack Sanchez, who was a big-time football player, tweeted me to congratulate me, that was awesome. I feel like OU is a big-time football school, don’t get me wrong, but Oklahoma basketball isn’t too far behind when it’s going. I hope to get it back to that.”
On players he models his game after…
Young: “Obviously I like to watch a lot of Steph [Curry]. I like to watch a lot of Steve Nash, Kyrie Irving, but my favorite player has to be Russ [Westbrook]. I play with a lot of Russell’s emotion, a lot of characteristics of Russ that I feel I have outside of athletic ability. His attitude and how he approaches the game.”
Do you have a relationship with Westbrook?
Young: “I do. I talk to him, I talk to his brother Raynard. I talk to all those guys so I have a relationship with them too as well.”