The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

June 12, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN: Young living life in fast lane

MORGANTOWN — Frank Young has been living life in the fast lane since closing out his career as a West Virginia University basketball player with as hot a spell as any player ever has put together at the school.

And we do mean fast.

Young spent a couple of years playing professional basketball in Holland and Germany, which offers an unlimited speed limit on its autobahn, which has no speed limit.

“The fastest I got was 180 kilometers an hour,” the former John Beilein forward said.

That would be 112 miles an hour, which may not be faster than a speeding bullet but is fast enough to satisfy most drivers … except in Germany.

“If someone is coming behind you in the fast lane and you don’t get of the way they go flying by and give you a dirty look,” Young said.

It’s kind of like a Roadrunner cartoon … “Beep, beep.”

Young was back in town for the Bob Huggins Fantasy Camp, which opened its weekend run on Friday night at the Coliseum, his second trip to town since graduating. The other time he came in for the graduation of former teammate and friend Darris Nichols, who this year becomes a graduate assistant for Huggins.

Young, of course, left everyone a lot to remember him by with one of the greatest four-game runs in the school history to close out his career and help WVU earn its first NIT championship since the 1943 team took down that title.

His final game at the Coliseum was against N.C. State when he hit 6 of 9 3-point shots, 9 of 14 from the field and finished with 25 points.

“I remember I did not start well in that game and got two fouls early. Coach Beilein took me out but then put me in,” Young recalled. “He knew I didn’t like to run, so he told me if I got another foul I’d have to run.”

Instead of getting another foul, Young kept tossing down 3s, just as he’d done in hitting 31 against UMass in the previous game.

West Virginia went against Clemson in the NIT final, a tournament now famous for Nichols’ last-second baseline shot, but Young again was unerring from the field to keep WVU going with the Tigers. He finished a near-perfect 6 of 7 from 3.

Young, who would average 15.3 points a game for his senior season, closed out his career with four magnificent performances, hitting 33 of his final 52 field goal attempts, 22 of his last 32 3-point tries, which figures out to 69.7 percent.

You lead the nation in regular field goal percentage if you shoot that, let alone from 3-point range.

That, of course, lifted Young’s NBA stock and, he admits, he was hoping to get a shot at “The League” but it wasn’t to be. There wasn’t any room for a thin 6-foot-5 jump shooting forward.

“It was not NBA or bust for me,” he said, saying he was disappointed but neither surprised nor discouraged.

Still, he was at something of a crossroads. He certainly wasn’t going to retire and wasn’t financially sound enough to start the restaurant that he always said he would eventually open.

So off he went to Holland and Germany, where he didn’t speak the language but where he got really fortunate.

In Holland he came across a coach named Herman van der Belt, where he played with former WVU teammate Jamie Smalligan.

In some ways it was a perfect fit.

“He ran the same offense Coach Beilein ran,” Young recalled.

That meant throwing up a lot of 3s.

Young played his two seasons overseas but says a when the European economy went south, so did he, all the way back to Florida.

A year ago he was out of basketball, working for — but not collecting from — the Florida State Unemployment Service.

These days, Young is getting himself back into basketball shape, still shooting the 3s, hoping to make a comeback. He isn’t hurting for money, the dollars paid in Europe not only being good but with virtually all expenses paid for a couple of years you are able to put some away.

Not enough to start that restaurant, of course, but enough to handle any speeding tickets he may get on I-95 in Florida.

E-mail Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • WVU #6 SHORTS -TS.jpg WVU opens practice with different feel: VIDEOS AND PHOTOS

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen was happy with his team’s first practice of the 2014 season.
    Of course, he would note, “Everybody in the country has a good first day.”
    But somehow, this was different.
    Very different.

    August 1, 2014 9 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Social media adds another thing to watch for coaches

    As someone who has gotten himself in enough hot water with a misplaced Tweet, when West Virginia University quarterback Clint Trickett hit the send button on July 17 sending out to the cyberworld what should have remained there with him on the couch on which he was sitting, I could feel his pain.

    August 1, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.
    It was between two legendary coaches, WVU’s Bobby Bowden and N.C. State’s Lou Holtz back there in the 1970s.

    August 1, 2014

  • WVU basketball non-conference schedule released

    After playing challenging schedules along with the tough Big 12 road, West Virginia University has backed off some this season on its non-conference schedule that was released Thursday.
    West Virginia is coming off a 17-16 season in which it failed to reach the NCAA Tournament and lost to Georgetown in the first round of the NIT.

    August 1, 2014

  • Mountaineers open practice with different feel

    West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen was happy with his team’s first practice of the 2014 season.

    July 31, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Social media adds another thing to watch for coaches

    As someone who has gotten himself in enough hot water with a misplaced Tweet, when West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett hit the send button on July 17 sending out to the cyberworld that should have remained there with him on the couch on which he was sitting, I could feel his pain.

    July 31, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU men’s basketball non-conference schedule announced

    West Virginia University Director of Athletics Oliver Luck has announced the 2014-15 men’s basketball non-conference schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos