The world of sports moves so fast today that we can sometimes forget to appreciate the human element. That most often shows up in the form of fan takes on social media or trade rumors by the media themselves. But it can often show in the way we sometimes overlook all that it took for players to reach this level.
As dynamic as they come at the point guard position, Young has already etched his name into the history books several times over including leading the NBA in total assists and total points last season – a feat not seen in over 50 years.
But even Young got his start somewhere and, during the Atlanta Hawks’ 137-132 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, the story of that start got an additional touch of the human element.
Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young got love for basketball from watching Thunder
During the second quarter, Bally Sports Hawks reporter Lauren Jbara did a spot from a special set of seats in Paycom Center. They were “section 119, row ‘R’, seats three and four,” Jbara said and they belonged to Young’s family when he was a kid. Young was born in Lubbock, Texas but was raised in Norman, Oklahoma – just a 38-minute trip to OKC.
Young also attended the University of Oklahoma, albeit briefly, for his one year of college ball in 2018 before making the jump to the NBA and being selected by (the Dallas Mavericks and traded to) the Hawks on draft night.
According to his father, Rayford Young Sr., that was all a part of the plan behind getting those seats that today require a $250 deposit simply to get on the waiting list.
And that is the per-seat price.
This is just the latest (or perhaps earliest) show of support from the elder Young who played college ball in Lubbock at Texas Tech.
He was one of the most vocal in support of the idea of pairing his son with Dejounte Murray.
“I keep seeing/hearing this & so funny,” Young tweeted in response to skepticism about the duo’s on-court fit. “People really don’t watch the @ATLHawks or have followed @TheTraeYoung ….My son has played off ball most of his life. That’s how he became the player he is since 8th grade. He just hasn’t had a chance since AAU days!”
To his credit, the pairing has largely been successful to this point in the season despite the uneven team results that have the Hawks sitting 2.0 games out of the six-seed and 2.5 games from being the 11-seed and outside of even the Play-In Tournament Field.
When they are together, the Murray-Young Hawks have a plus-4.0 net efficiency differential, ranking in the 77th percentile, per Cleaning The Glass.
It has been a bit of a journey with only one or the other but that is a larger matter.
So far, the Hawks experiment has worked even if some of the things around it have not gone as planned as it has. The same can be said for Young’s individual season which has seen his three-point shooting suffer tremendously while his scoring remains largely the same. There is still plenty of time left in the season and reason to believe they will get even better too.