Get Money

A look at West Virginia senior forward Frank Young's shoes reveals a phrase that appears at odds with the team-first ethos that pervades the Mountaineer basketball program.Get

At several strategically placed spots on Young's kicks, the short phrase "Get $" can be seen. For a senior leader on a quad that espouses teamwork, sacrifice and making one more pass to find a teammate with a better look at the hoop, the word and symbol appear jarringly out of place. Instead of assists and taking charges, it conjures images of jacking up shots and preening in front of the camera.

That, of course, has no place in West Virginia's system, and Young isn't espousing it either. In fact, the phrase – which is pronounced "Get Money" – is actually a reference to playing together.

"I don't want anyone to misunderstand it," Young said after a recent game. "It's not about getting paid or going to the NBA. It's something we all say to emphasize playing together, making the ‘money' play."

Whew. For a minute there, the thought was that Young was abandoning John Beilein's system. (Well, not really, but the juxtaposition of the $ sign on the feet of one of the shining examples of Beilein ball did have us wondering.) Instead, it's an affirmation of Young's buy-in to the system.

As the sole remaining member of his incoming freshman class, Young has been a bit overlooked in West Virginia's rebuilding process. Coming in on the heels of the gang of five that took West Virginia from the depths of college hoops to its upper echelon, Young was certainly underappreciated during his sophomore and junior seasons. Even his stellar substitute stint for a flu-stricken Tyrone Sally in the Big East tournament two years ago was little more than a footnote in WVU's magical run to the Elite Eight. And even though he again performed very well as a junior, he was naturally overshadowed by the cult hero status of Kevin Pittsnogle, the high-flying efforts of Mike Gansey and the long-range bombs of Patrick Beilein.

This year, with the team certainly his to control, Young could well have succumbed to the temptation to take a few more shots or make himself the focal point of attention. While he has certainly achieved the latter with his play on the court, he hasn't copped an attitude or focused on what he has to do to have a pro career following his college days. Instead, "Get Money" although having its roots in the slang term for a sure thing (calls of "money" are often heard when sharpshooters take aim at the hoop), instead references making the best play, the sure thing. That's just what Young tries to do each time and, and that's the reason the four characters appear on his shoes.

"It's not just a reminder for me," Young said. "It's something we are all trying to do."




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