Former Yates star Joseph Young drafted by Pacers

 It may have taken a few hours, but the wait was well worth it for Joseph Young.

The former Yates High School and reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year at Oregon was drafted 43rd overall on Thursday night by the NBA's Indiana Pacers.

"I'm truly blessed," Young said. "It was an opportunity. I really didn't care where I went in the draft."

Young, of course, is the son of former University of Houston great Michael Young from the Phi Slama Jama days. Michael Young was a first-round pick of the Celtics back in 1984. A picture from when he got drafted sits framed in the dining room of the Young household. A picture of Larry Bird looms in the background of that picture. Bird is currently the Pacers' President of Basketball Operations.

"Bird's a basketball guy," Michael Young said. "He understands talent. I know right now, and I'm going to say as his dad, Indiana got a steal. They got a complete steal and I don't play daddy ball. I'm proud of my son. I know how hard that he works and I just think the best thing happened for him.

"He's been talking about it for a long time," the elder Young continued. "He knows my rule - hard work pays off. And for years, he's really worked hard and really loved the game. And he understands you get out of it what you put in it."

What's a strange coincidence not lost upon Joseph Young was that his father wore number 43 during the 1985 season with the Suns. On Thursday, he was drafted 43rd overall to follow his father's footsteps into the NBA.

"I know God had my back the whole time," Young said. "He was talking to me the whole time. He was like, you know, 'We're going to pick you as your dad's number - 43.'"

Now, Young focuses on proving his worth in the league he's always wanted to get to.

"I'm very happy," Young said. "I'm excited. It's truly an opportunity. One thing about being an Indiana Pacer is about having heart and I know one thing Reggie Miller did was have heart. And I just want to piggy back off that and have heart and be the best I can be."

The Houston area was well represented during Thursday's draft. Former Saint John's High School and Duke star Justise Winslow as drafted 10th overall by the Heat. Former Bush High School and Kansas star Kelly Oubre was drafted 15th overall by the Hawks, then traded to the Wizards. Also, former Travis High School and Kentucky star Andrew Harrison was drafted 44th overall by the Suns before getting traded to Memphis.

 

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