The wait is finally over for Centennial High School's hard-working 6-foot-5 senior guard/forward Emery Young, after he signed a national letter of intent to play for Arizona Christian University this weekend. Young's decision to stay home and play for Arizona Christian is an exciting move for him and his family, as his loyal family will now have the opportunity to watch Young compete in college right in their backyard.
Coach Jeff Rutter and his staff recruited Young for some time and won out in the end for Young's services. Arizona Christian has developed a strong program in the West Valley, an NAIA Division-I program and a member of the GSAC Conference. Young will play at a very high level for Arizona Christian, and will look to become a valuable member of their program, which competes annually for a Conference Championship.
Young is a excellent fit for ACU, as he has excellent versatility as a player and as a defender, where he is able to guard multiple positions on the basketball court - his best asset as a player. Young absolutely loves the game and has excellent work ethic as a player. This work ethic is what benefits him over his opposition, as he is always playing the game and also working on his game. Over time, he will realize his true potential as a result. Young is at his best as a small forward, although he is able to play as a 2, 3 also on the court. He is a good ball handler and passer, and is also an active rebounder. Young has a good shooting stroke with range. His three-pointer late in the 5A State Championship game helped lead his team to a state championship title during the 2022 season. He will have his most success as he develops his mid-range game over time, and is able to post up and score from mid-range consistently. He does this well now, but will improve with improved physical strength and explosiveness gained from natural maturity.
Emery Young's best years are still well ahead of him, but he is a winner, and has done what it has taken the past several years to help lead his high school program to the top of the 5A Division. Over the past few seasons, Young came up very big for Centennial, as he was the driving force for the basketball program for several seasons, and had an excellent high school career for himself. Centennial High School is now one of the state's top basketball programs consistently, as the program won many games over the past several years, including a state title in 2022. After former successful Head Coach Randy Lavender walked away from the program after winning a state title, David Grace then took over the program for Young's senior season, before taking another job at Campbell Hall High School (CA) this spring. Young went through a lot during his high school career, but now he can focus on college athletics.
Congratulations to Young and his amazing family on this big accomplishment, and congratulations to the Centennial basketball program, which now will be led by new Head Coach Tarik James. Centennial basketball is now in great hands, and Young can move forward knowing he did a lot to help build his program to an excellent contender in the West Valley.