Antoine Young just won a championship.
But even though there's a bit of relaxing to be done over the summer, there's also still plenty of basketball work to be done.
Young, the former Creighton point guard from Bellevue West, has been back in Omaha for a couple of weeks. He's spent this week helping out at a Creighton basketball camp and starts playing summer league games this week.
He's hoping to get a chance to play in the NBA Development League, with camps set up for later this summer. And a return to the Netherlands isn't out of the question, though he may be looking to play someplace other than Leiden.
But first things first.
“I'm a summer kid,” Young said. “I love to go swimming, go longboarding and hang out and enjoy the weather.”
A longboard, by the way, is a longer version of a skateboard. Young has two of them.
“It's a little extra hobby I have outside of basketball,” he said. “I would have ridden them on campus all the time, but Coach Mac wouldn't let me.”
That little piece of safety-first precaution from Creighton coach Greg McDermott perhaps kept Young healthy enough to pursue his professional career.
But that wasn't the only way McDermott helped Young after coming on board for his final two seasons with the Bluejays.
“The professional game is a little different, so that's kind of a transition,” Young said. “A lot of guys don't have to adjust as much, and Mac really prepared me for it because of the way he does things.”
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Working off ball screens translates and is part of the professional game in Europe as well as the United States.
“Very pro-style (at Creighton),” Young said. “Pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop. Those are bread-and-butter in the league, and that's what we lived off at Creighton.”
The 6-foot Young averaged 7.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists while playing in 20 games for Leiden of the Netherlands' Eredivisie, or Honorary League. It's the top division in the country.
Young started his pro career with a brief stop with a team in Geneva, but that was a bad fit and he quickly hooked on with a Mexican League team in Leon before finishing up in Europe.
Young and his Leiden teammates swept Leeuwarden in the championship series. Leiden had swept Groningen in the semifinals — one of Groningen's players is former Omaha Burke and Nebraska player Jason Dourisseau.
“It's a pretty good league,” Young said. “We had a good coach and we won a championship. It was a really good experience.”
Young said the quality of play is a shade below that of the Missouri Valley Conference. His team's home court gymnasium seats about 2,000, well below the 17,000-plus at the CenturyLink Center. Travel isn't bad in Holland — better than Mexico — but still, you've got to enjoy what you're doing.
“You get a little spoiled at Creighton,” Young said. “Holland isn't that big — everything is within two hours. But you're used to getting off the charter at Creighton and not having to carry your own bags, staying at a nice hotel with a full breakfast. ... You quickly remember how good you had things.
“When you're in college, you think it stinks, but wait until you leave the country.”
While in the Netherlands, Young said he typically hung out with teammates Mohamed Kherrazi and Kasper Averink. He took time to visit nearby Amsterdam, hung out at the North Sea and visited Holocaust sites.
He said his team, though, appears to be breaking up, with a couple of players already signing to play elsewhere next season.
Young said he'll go to some NBA Development League camps this summer in an attempt to catch on with that league. Before it opens play in November, he may try to play overseas elsewhere.
“As much as I loved Holland, I do love the United States,” Young said. “So if I can stay here, I will.”
And he plans to keep repeating the cycle for a while, letting basketball take him where it can.
“I love this game and I can't see myself ever giving it up — although eventually you have to,” Young said. “Maybe when I'm done, Mac will put me on the staff and let me yell at somebody else instead of having him yell at me.
“I'd definitely like to do some coaching at a high level.”
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