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When you hit play on Solomon Young’s highlight tape, it’s hard to believe he could be described as a player that’s flown under the radar. It’s his college-ready frame, long arms and short dreadlocks jump out to you immediately.
It’s what he does with that frame that leaves you wondering why he only held offers from three high-major Division I schools. He uses those long arms to block shots with ease. The frame allows him to finish through contact and over-power players at the high school level.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 210-pound Iowa State signee has done more than over-power players during his senior season at Sacramento High. He has steamrolled them.
Young is the leading scorer, shot blocker and second leading rebounder for the Dragons, who enter next Wednesday night’s California sectional tournament opener with a 25-1 record and ranked as the No. 1 team in the area by the Sacramento Bee.
“It went well,” Young told Cyclone Fanatic about his regular season during a phone conversation earlier this week. “Last night was hour senior night. We won by like 50. Now the playoffs are going to start next week.”
Dominating is nothing new for Young and the Dragons. Only two of their games have been decided by 10 points or less (with one of them being their only loss). The rest of the games have been 20-plus point win after 20-plus point win.
That dominance has carried over to Young as he led the Metropolitan Conference in scoring (16.8 per game) and blocks (3.0 per game) during the regular season. He was also second in rebounding (7.2 per game) behind his teammate, and UC-Santa Barbara signee, Christian Terrell.
He has scored 20 or more points on six different occasions, including 33 against Burbank earlier this month when he was 12-of-14 from inside the 3-point arc and 9-of-9 at the free throw line. He’s grabbed double-digit rebounds on seven different occasions, maxing out at 15 in Sacramento’s only loss.
To put it simply, Solomon Young has been playing like a beast.
“I feel I’m doing a better job making good decisions on the court,” Young said. “Like knowing when to pass, seeing who’s open and just being a better leader on the court.”
Young’s strength is what could set him apart from most players making the jump from high school to college. He’ll still have to get stronger, all young big guys do, but he’s got a good start compared to most kids.
He isn’t what I’d describe as explosive leaper, but a powerful one. He’s not the kind of dunker that will put his forearm in the rim or jump over mascots. He’s the kind of dunker that throws down with force.
It’s that power that could allow him to make an impact for Iowa State early in his career.
“I think I bring versatility and toughness,” Young said. “Coach said that I already have a college ready body, I just need some skill work so I’ll pick that up this summer.”
Developing his skills is sure to be a focus when Young arrives in Ames for summer school and workouts in early June. He’ll look to make an immediate impression in order to earn a spot in the Iowa State front court that will be ravaged by graduation.
First, he has some unfinished business at the high school level. Last year, the Dragons lost in the NorCal division final, one game short of the state tournament. Now, the goals are higher.
Max Preps’ computer rankings slate Sacramento High as one of the favorites to win the state championship.
“That’s the only goal,” Young said. “Just get through sections, NorCal and get state.”