Trae Young, a 6-foot-2 senior point guard from Norman (Okla.) North High ranked No. 14 in the recruiting Class of 2017 by Rivals.com, said Thursday he will attend Oklahoma on a basketball scholarship.
Young — who averages 43.1 points, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds for North — chose the Sooners over Kansas and Oklahoma State in a news conference at his high school gymnasium.
“This has been a long process for me and a lot of ups and downs, but in the end I came to a place of peace and everything came together for me. That place of peace for me in the fall of 2017 will be at the University of Oklahoma,” Young said to wild applause from students watching the announcement.
Young, who was seated at a table with family members in front of a group of reporters, placed an OU hat on his head and added, “Boomer Sooner.”
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Young had a final list of KU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Washington and Texas Tech, but this week in a roundtable discussion with his dad, Ray, and mom, Candice, eliminated Washington, Texas Tech and Kentucky.
“The deciding factor? This is just home. It’s always been home to me,” Young said. “I’ve built relationships with a lot of coaches throughout the years. The recruiting process has been very long and very tough. I built a lot of trust in all these coaches. This has just been home,” he repeated.
Young — he will play in the McDonald’s All-America game March 29 at Chicago’s United Center — revealed that he used to be an OU basketball ballboy.
“When coach (Jeff) Capel was here. He had those guys rolling,” Young said. “I always enjoyed watching Oklahoma basketball.”
Of OU coach Lon Kruger, he said: “He lets his guards play. He’ll give me a lot of freedom but also teach me the game and expand my knowledge of the game.”
Young recently was chosen as one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith boys high school player of the year award. The list will be trimmed to five on Feb. 22.
Young has been compared to Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry for his ability to hit threes that extend well beyond the arc. He averaged 27 points, 4.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in eight games — all victories — for MOKAN Elite last summer at the Peach Jam AAU event in Atlanta.
Young made an official recruiting visit to KU on Oct. 21-23.
The loss of Young to OU means KU will continue recruiting No. 3-ranked Trevon Duval, a 6-2 senior from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., who has a list of KU, Duke, Arizona, Baylor and Seton Hall.
KU has signed a pair of players in the Class of 2017 in Billy Preston, a 6-9 forward from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., who is ranked No. 8 nationally by Rivals.com and No. 37-ranked Marcus Garrett, 6-5 from Dallas Skyline High.
Also, the Jayhawks have landed a transfer in Sam Cunliffe, a 6-6 guard from Seattle who played at Arizona State first semester this season and will be eligible to play in games as a sophomore at the conclusion of first semester classes next season.