Oct. 19, 2016
By Tristan Vitale ’19
Jackie Young is a freshman guard for the Notre Dame women’s basketball team this year. She was a high-profile recruit coming out of Princeton Community High School in Princeton, IN, and was ranked as the No. 3 guard in the nation by espnW HoopGurlz following her senior season. A phenomenal shooter, Young is the Indiana high school basketball career scoring leader (boys or girls) with 3,286 points. In 2016 she was also named a McDonald’s All-American, Indiana Miss Basketball, and the Naismith National High School Player of the Year, one of the most prestigious honors in all of high school basketball. This year, Young looks to follow up her remarkable high school career with similar success at the collegiate level for the Irish.
Q: How did you start playing basketball?
A: I started playing when I was four years old, and that’s because I had an older brother and he played and I just wanted to do whatever he did.
Q: Did you used to train with your brother growing up?
A: Yeah, it started out back in the yard, he’d be out there playing with his friends and I wanted to play but they wouldn’t let me because I was too little. Then eventually, I got older and better so they started letting me train with them. I beat them a few times, but not very often.
Q: In the game where you broke the Indiana high school career scoring record, did you know you were close to the record?
A: I knew that I had a chance to break it that game, I needed 28 points, but the team we were playing was stalling and holding the ball. Actually, I got fouled and I made my free throw, and that’s when I broke the record, but I had no idea until they stopped the game and everybody started clapping.
Q: If you could play a sport other than basketball, what would it be?
A: I think I would run track. I actually ran track from 6th grade up until my sophomore year of high school, so I would just do that again. I was a high jumper and then I ran some sprints as well.
Q: Who is your favorite professional athlete?
A: Candace Parker.
Q: If you could hang out with any Notre Dame athlete, past or present, who would it be?
A: I think either Ruth Riley or Skylar Diggins.
Q: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
A: Maybe that I like Justin Bieber.
Q: What is your favorite memory from your basketball career?
A: Probably meeting Michael Jordan at the Jordan Brand Classic. There were the East and West teams, and we all got to go in and shake his hand and ask him questions.
Q: What has been the toughest adjustment to make coming from high school to college?
A: Basketball-wise I would have to say the speed of the game and just the intensity of every workout and every play.
Q: What is your spirit animal?
A: Well, I don’t really like animals, so I don’t think I have one.
Q: What is your favorite professional basketball team?
A: For women’s basketball I would have to go with the LA Sparks because of Candace Parker, and for men’s basketball I just have to go with whatever team LeBron is on.
Q: Who would win in a game of one-on-one: you or Muffet McGraw?
A: I’m just going to go with her.
Q: If you could trade places with any of your teammates for a day, who would it be?
A: I would probably go with LA (Lindsay Allen) just because of her way of thinking. When we’re out there on the floor she knows everything, so just being able to live the way she lives one day would be nice.
Q: If you could trade places with any person in the world for a day, who would it be?
A: I would have to go back to either Justin Bieber or Candace Parker.