HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Joseph Young is back in town today for his first game in Houston as an NBA player.
The Pacers' rookie was drafted in the offseason after a stellar collegiate career at Oregon, where he was Pac-12 Player of the Year in his senior season. Before that, Young was a star at Houston's Yates High School.
"It feels great to come back for the community that really made me," Young said on Sunday. "I started off in Houston at Yates and a little bit at UH, but it was a fun experience. It really helped me to get me where I'm at now."
Young said he expects a solid group of family and friends to be at Sunday's game between his Pacers and his hometown Rockets.
"I'm getting text messages from everywhere," Young said. "Even Facebook, (Instagram), fans that have been fans from time to time, just going to come out and support. Hopefully, I get a chance to see them after the game and show them what I can do in the NBA. I think Coach is going to put me in for just a little bit. I'm just going to value my minutes and play as hard as I can."
Young is part of a basketball legacy. His father Michael was a basketball star during the Phi Slama Jama days at UH. His younger brother Jacob is a current Yates star who is signed to play college basketball at the University of Texas.
Talking about his father, Young said, "It's all him. He's the one that put us through the work. He's the one that kept the negatives positive, got us up every morning, making sure that we got the work ethic in and that's one thing he really did for us.
"It pays off," Young added. "My little brother's seen it pay off with me and he just kept working harder."
Young has averaged 1.8 points in 12 games with the Pacers so far in his rookie year. He's also spent time with the Pacers' D-League affiliate in Fort Wayne, where he's averaged 24.3 points in three games. Young says he's learned how to be patient for his time.
"Learn the pace and when your time comes, just be ready," Young said. "I feel like my time is going to come quick. Coach, he tells me every day at practice that I had a good practice and I've just got to keep working in practice and earn my trust with Coach."