One of Louisiana’s top Class of 2016 basketball players has decided to play his senior season for a prep powerhouse in the Sunshine State.
J.C. Younger, an all-state guard from Metairie Park Country Day, told the Cajun Redzone on Monday night that he was transferring to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He received a scholarship to attend the widely respected private school, which has produced more than 20 college signees in the past two years and had two former players selected in the 2015 NBA draft.
“We will play a national schedule and I’m going to play on their Elite high school team,” Younger told the Cajun Redzone in his first interview since deciding to transfer. “Many Division I coaches go to their practices and the training there is phenomenal. We will lift four days a week and train for basketball about four hours a day, so I will get more exposure for college and become a more skilled and better basketball player and I’ll get to play a lot. It’s a great opportunity.”
A three-year starter at Country Day, the 6-foot-4 Younger made the LSWA Class 1A all-state first team and NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune’s New Orleans All-Metro Small Schools team as a junior after averaging 17.3 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game. He also shot 45 percent from 3-point range and was named the District 9-1A MVP as the Cajuns won 23 games and advanced to the Class 1A state semifinals before falling to eventual champion Madison Prep.
Younger — an all-state honorable mention selection for state championship teams as a freshman and sophomore — played this spring and summer in the Nike EYBL for Team Texas Elite and averaged 9.9 points while shooting 43 percent from 3. In late May he was named MVP of the Louisiana-Mississippi Battle of the Stars Showcase after scoring 36 points and also won its 3-point shootout.
“Country Day, coach Mike (McGuire), my teammates, my friends and Dr. Tony Melito with his ‘Winning Actions’ program have helped me so much over the years,” Younger said. “I will always respect them and love them like family. Dr. Melito helped me with my mental toughness and is my advisor. Coach Mike is an outstanding coach and I wish Country Day nothing but the best.”
The high-scoring, sharp-shooting guard is set to join an IMG Academy basketball program led by director Kenny Natt, a former ULM standout who played and coached in the NBA. Last year Younger attended a summer camp at IMG and played for coach Mike Kelly.
“I played for Mike Kelly last summer, then I visited in April and performed very well against their Elite Team,” Younger said. “I’ve improved tremendously and I’m ready for that level. I feel God wants me to go also because I’m a very religious person and there is a church of my culture five minutes away from IMG. It’s kind of like they are all waiting for me.”
Included on MaxPreps.com’s Class of 2016 Watch List, Younger claims offers from Columbia, Lamar and Southeastern Louisiana and strong interest from Yale, Bucknell, Brown, ULM, Appalachian State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Other schools involved with him are Texas A&M, TCU, Elon, Louisiana, Tulane, Northwestern State, St. Bonaventure and ACU. Even more college coaches will have a chance to see Younger once he starts at IMG Academy in the fall.
“The coach has not recruited anyone else at my position — combo guard — because he really wants me,” Younger said. “I played for him for six weeks last summer and he thinks I’m amazing, so I love it (there).”
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