One emphatic spike of the basketball later as the clock struck zero, and Norman (Okla.) North point guard Trae Young could finally breathe.
His five-day period will be one for the record books, but there’s no doubt that even someone as great as Young, who committed to Oklahoma on Thursday, can start to wear down a bit.
Young scored 39 points, including his team’s final 12 points to propel Norman North to a 79-70 win against rival Norman on Friday night.
During his four years at Norman North, Young never lost to Norman, including going 3-0 in three electric atmospheres this season.
It was a who’s who in the city in attendance. Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, athletic director Joe Castiglione, assistant basketball coach Chris Crutchfield. OU basketball players Kameron McGusty, Jamuni McNeace and Dante Buford were among others in attendance.
It was standing room only for the final Crosstown Clash with Young, who was honored with a frame to celebrate being invited to the Jordan Brand Classic all-star event in the spring.
Young didn’t take long, draining a 25-foot 3-pointer to start the game and let everybody know he was ready to go to work.
The whole week was one statement after another. Began Monday morning when Young was honored with his McDonald’s All-American jersey. Young is only the ninth representative from the state of Oklahoma to play in the all-star classic.
Then it was to Edmond North where the Timberwolves and Huskies played as good a high school basketball game as you’re going to find Tuesday evening before Edmond North pulled it out 80-77. Young had 44 points.
Thursday was Feb. 16, but it might be remembered in years going forward as Trae Young Day. The five-star point guard made it official and committed to OU. The hometown kid who was a ballboy at OU back in the day is going to stay home.
Then there was Friday evening. In a second half where his long-range jumper wasn’t working, Young found other ways. His passing keyed success, especially for Drake Stoops, who finished with 20 points.
He knocked down big-time free throws and then punctuated the game in a way only Young can. He dribbled the ball through the legs of a Norman defender and then pulled up and drained his fifth three-pointer of the game.
Following the game, Young was bombarded by Norman North students and fans and stuck around and signed every last autograph and took every last picture.
Young said after the game his knees are a bit sore so he doesn’t expect to play in the rematch Saturday night with Edmond North. With both teams’ playoff spots locked up, perhaps round three can occur in the state tournament in a few weeks.
A day off for Young, what a novel concept. Following the five days he had, not sure anybody could possibly have a problem with that.