RP Votes: Young wins

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May 6, 2015 By Paul Bressler

Despite a bitter end to a four-year journey, senior guard Quardell Young closed out his collegiate career as the Royal Purple’s  2014 Male Athlete of the Year.

“We came up short, very short,” Young said. “Obviously, our whole team and staff were disappointed with the outcome, but not many people can say they’ve won a national championship. Even fewer can say they’ve won two, unless you’re the Wisconsin-Whitewater football team.”

Young was naturally referring to the fact that the UW-Whitewater’s men’s basketball team entered the 2015 NCAA D-III Tournament as the No. 2-ranked team in the country and slipped up in the first round. Young compiled 106 wins en route to two national championships over his career.

The 2015 First-Team All-American was also a part of two conference tournament championships and two WIAC regular season titles including a conference-record 15 wins this season.

“He’s left a great legacy being a part of two national championships,” head coach Pat Miller said. “He’s very much a class person. He’s somebody that people respected. It’s hard in a program like ours to identify the all-time greats. There have been so many great players and so many great teams, but he certainly put himself in that conversation with all the other great players that have played here.”

Coming through in championship moments defined Young’s legacy. As a freshman, Young entered the 2012 D-III Championship game at the 13:49 mark in the second half. He sparked a 17-2 run and helped pull the Warhawks within three after the team trailed by 18 points. The ’Hawks went on to defeat Cabrini 63-60 and win its first national basketball championship since 1989.

It was an incredible moment for Young, yet it pales in comparison to his greatest championship moment. With four seconds left, the ’Hawks trailed Williams College 72-73 following the go-ahead tip-in. Unfazed, Young immediately took the in-bound pass three quarters of the court before laying in the and-one bucket with .9 seconds left. Young and the ’Hawks would go on to win 75-73 and win its second national championship in three seasons.

“He was actually really quiet in practice and during games,” senior forward Steve Egan said. “He led more by example. He spoke up when he needed too. People followed by what he did. In late game situations he was cool, and he just took over games. He had three game-winners this year. He had the biggest game-winner in Whitewater history last year. He’s always calm. He’s always collected. He knows what he can do, and he always did it.”

Young finished ninth on Whitewater’s all-time scoring list (1340) and second in games played (122) for a career. He also finished second among all-time great Warhawks in both assists (467) and steals (225).

The USA International Athletes team recently invited Young to play for its team this summer in Costa Rica. He respectfully declined to focus on furthering his basketball career among the professional ranks.

“It’s an honor,” Young said. “I’m definitely really appreciative of the nomination to play for that team. It’s just a good way to cap off my career. At this point, I’m getting ready to spend more time to get into playing for combines, training, just a lot more serious stuff I want to put in position in front of me.”

Senior quarterback and the Royal Purple’s  2013 Male Athlete of the Year Matt Behrendt finished a mere vote behind Young for the honors. Senior infielder Mikole Pierce finished in third place among the sports staff writers.

“It’s hard to even categorize his value, because he’s been so valuable in so many different ways throughout his career,” Miller said. “He’s obviously a playmaker and a winner. In addition to that, he’s a great leader. He’s just a player as a coach you feel really fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach and you know there’s just not a lot of guys like him. It’s a rare situation when a player of his level has absolutely no individual agenda.”

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