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Filling big shoes: Young steps into leadership role

Point guard Aaron Young learned a lot during his time playing alongside former Golden Eagle Obi Emegano, but the most valuable lessons may have been about being a leader on and off the court.

Young and Emegano played together at Edmond Memorial High School where they won the Oklahoma High School State Championship back in 2011 and were roommates on road trips after Young transferred to ORU in 2014.

Young became one of the veterans in the locker room and is looking to guide the young guys in the right direction with long time captain and vocal leader Emegano playing professionally in Italy.

“We have a lot of freshmen. When you first get in, your body moves a lot faster than your mind can think. So I just try to tell the younger guys that the game will slow down. That’s something Obi always told me,” said Young. “We’re just trying to get the freshmen to grasp the concepts. If they grasp them now, they’ll be in good shape.”

When Young came to ORU from Eastern Oklahoma State, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Scott Sutton raved about Young’s character and the type of person he was off the court. Sutton still feels the same way about his senior point guard nearly three years later.

“Aaron is a guy I hope all of the young guys look up to. He takes care of his business in the classroom and each day in practice,” said Sutton. “Some guys lead vocally and some lead by example. AY is a guy who can do both.”

Young admits it took him some time to get into a groove as a young player, but he believes young guys have to, in the words of Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, “trust the process.”

“I talk to a lot of the guys, but I talk to Dezmond [McDaniel] a lot. He’s a point guard, and I just try to let him know that things are going to happen. You’re gonna turn the ball over in practice. Coach is gonna get on you, that’s just the way it goes,” said Young. “There’s just certain things you have to know to go from being a high school point guard to a college point guard. I just want him to understand those things now as opposed to later.”