After riding the basketball bench at Angleton High School, Torrey Young took it upon himself to change that.
With a dream like so many other athletes to get the opportunity to maybe some day play at the collegiate level, Young made it happen.
“I rode the bench basically my junior and senior year at Angleton, because I didn’t improve the way the coaches wanted me to improve in order to be able to fit into their system,” Young said. “I understood that, and even though I was riding the bench, I still tried helping my teammates just by being there for them. I didn’t play in high school, but I am the only one from that class playing collegiate basketball to this day.”
That says a lot for a player who didn’t spend the minutes on the floor to develop enough or even get some film on himself to show others that he played in high school.
So after graduating in 2015, Young persevered.
“I just didn’t want to give up on my dream and had thought about doing this since I was little,” he said. “I always wanted to play college basketball, even though I didn’t play much in high school. But I kept having that passion and motivation to make it to the college level.”
And he did make it, not to one but two colleges.
This is the only season Yo ung, a 6-foot-5 forward, will play varsity level college basketball, at Mid America Christian University in Oklahoma City.
“What kept me going, I always knew that someone was always watching, so I just kept pushing,” Young said. “I knew that I could help others as much as I could. I know that there are many who have been in my boat and might want to give up, but if they keep going, one never knows what really could happen.”
With the handicap of not being able to show film of himself in action in high school, Young faced an uphill battle once he started scouring the internet hoping to find a place to start his college career.
“I heard a lot of no’s and no answers because in high school because of that film on me,” he said. “And that was what these coaches wanted to see. I would email them and they would ask for film. My response to them was that I didn’t, but if they would give me the opportunity to go to try out or get in some kind of workout to show them. But I wouldn’t hear back from them after that.”
But if there is a will there is a way, and Young found it one day.
“I reached out to a person that I knew from a basketball camp that I attended back in my high school days and basically just told him to put me in contact with coaches, because I wanted to go play college basketball,” Young said. “I reached out to a couple of coaches in Alabama, and coach (Fredrick) Summers from Concordia College in Selma, Alabama, reached back to me. I told him that I would go and try out for the team.”
Young made the junior varsity squad at Concordia and played for two seasons. Still unsatisfied with his progress, Young transferred to the University of Louisiana Lafayette to work on his grades and continue working on his basketball skills.
In the spring of 2018, Young knew he had two more eligible seasons to play basketball. Again he hit the internet.
“I started reaching out to NAIA coaches here in the Oklahoma area, and coach (Josh) Gamblin called me and just told me that I could go there and try to work out for a spot, so I took that challenge of going to Oklahoma City and have been there since last year,” Young said. “My ultimate goal this season is to help my team get back to the NAIA national tournament and winning it all. I feel like the coaches have recruited a great group of guys, and we are just ready for the challenge.”
In 2018-19, Young played on the junior varsity level for the Evangels, and it goes without saying that throughout this whole process, a lot of work has been put into his game in order to develop into a collegiate player.
“In college there is just a lot of running so the pace is faster, so I’ve just been working on my conditioning, and along the way some assistant coaches have helped us out with our skills and weaknesses,” he said. “My skills have improved drastically, and I have to thank the coaching staffs for that.”
This past May, Young also had another accomplishment, as he graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in business and is working toward his MBA this year.
“I’ve just had the belief in God, my family and my friends that motivated me and encouraged me to just keep living my dream,” Young said. “Many have not been in my situation, but I have been able to play college ball by simply not giving up. I don’ t take these opportunities for granted at all.”
On Oct. 25 the Evangels will take on Ecclesia, Arkansas, at home to open the season.