Big Nasty Kalif Young Is Big East Bound
2016 Bio-Steel Canadian MVP Is Taking His Talents To Providence
Back in May, 1997 born Kalif Young pledged allegiance to Big East program the Providence Friars.
“I think the biggest thing for me was that Providence felt like family. There was a closeness with the coaching staff from the beginning and they really focused on my development not just as a player but a man which is huge for me and my family,” Young told Hoops Hype Canada.
Young takes his talents to the state of Rhode Island with an already impressive resume to his name. The two time Canadian international and BioSteel All-Canadian spent the last two seasons playing high school ball at Canadian prep power Orangeville Prep. In his first season with the Bears, Young played a top tier schedule on a roster that included fellow big men; 7-0 Thon Maker, 6-10 Matur Maker and 6-9 Kyle Alexander who just finished his freshman season at Tennessee. Young has been cultivated in a collegiate atmosphere.
In year two under Larry Blunt, Young flourished statistically as a focal point in the Bears front court. At one point in the 2015-16 season Young drew interest from Duke resulting in members of the Blue Devils brass making a trip to Orangeville, ON for a closer look.
It was in April however when Young cemented his high school career at the 2016 BioSteel All-Canadian game. In his hometown of Toronto Young took home co-MVP honors behind a 20 point and 9 rebound prime time performance.
Among Young’s accolades a selection to the Nike Global Games. He also holds experience on the Nike EYBL circuit with Canadian powerhouse program CIA Bounce. During the summer of 2015 in seven games with Bounce Young averaged 6.8 ppg and 7.2 rpg in 21.4 mpg.
Veritas a Greek term for the word truth, is also the Providence mantra written left to right across its crest. Fitting for Kalif Young who in the Canadian ranks is the truth in terms of intriguing big man prospects.
At 6-9 and 250 lbs Young can be a power player or a finesse guy, and his ball skills stand out. The natural power forward can break through a full-court press and dish the ball out to his teammates with relative ease. Young is also terrific at starting fast breaks with his near pinpoint accuracy on heaves down court. Given how often he pulls down defensive rebounds, this happens quite a bit.
Rebounding may even be the staple to Young’s game. Evident when traveling to Dubai during the summer of 2014 for the U17 FIBA World Championships. Young as a Cadet averaged 5.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg in 14.4 mpg. In two Bio-Steel All-Canadian games, Young averaged 10.5 rebounds per game including a team high in 2015 with 12.
When asked to compare his game to a pro, Young mentioned a south paw and explained their similarities,
“Probably be Zach Randolph because of his body type and strength in the paint grabbing rebounds while still maintaining fundamentals on the block. Plus he’s a lefty so we gotta stick together.” Young added.
With his rare skill set for a big, Orangeville Bears fans labelled Young the ‘Big Nasty’. Only fitting that he is now headed to the Big East. A major conference with major heft. Between the coaching, pedigree of programs and the fact the league sent an impressive SIX teams in the NCAA’s last March, it now provides Young a desirable proving ground on his desirable path to the NBA.
Kalif Young has demonstrated a lot this summer, positioning himself for PT as the physical contributor the Providence front court needs.
— Steve Hartnett (@stevehartnett92) August 9, 2016
Since graduating Young has been in the trenches preparing for his freshman season. Maintaining at 6-9 and 250lbs Young mentioned through strength training and diet he has begun to re-sculp his body.
“I have been really trying to change my body, eating healthy getting ready for the college level. I have to be ready to perform against guys that have more experience and strength so its all about building my body up and getting my mind set right for this new journey”.
Before two seasons at Orangeville Prep Young attended the same high school Andrew Wiggins attended before moving south of the border — Vaughan Secondary School. A power house Canadian high school in the Greater Toronto Area.
Young offered advice to aspiring Canadian big men contemplating a similar switch from high school hoops to prep,
“For any big taking the step, the biggest difference is size and aggression…be ready to play with a lot more aggression and build your body up while maintaining control and composure on a bigger stage.”
Follow Kalif Young on Twitter at @youngkalif13 during his journey through the Big East.