Despite injured shoulder, Allison Young is still the leader of Skyline girls basketball team
Daniel Brenner | Annarbor.com
Instead, Young was thinking about the girls basketball game the next day against Whitmore Lake. With surgery on the horizon, Young knew it would be her last game as a player with the team. A team she had been a part of since the very beginning.
“If there is such thing as a face to the program right now, it’s definitely Allison. She’s been here since day one. Until her injury, she played in every varsity game. She went through the 0-20 season. She’s seen all the ups and downs, but always remained positive,” said Skyline coach Keith Wade.
While it was only the second game of the season for the Eagles, the team treated it as if it were senior night for Young. Cheering for her early and making an effort to get her the ball for a chance to score as the game wound down.
“It was hard, I came out of the tunnel and I’ve always led the pack and I knew that was the last time I would do that. When I came off the court for the last time it was really hard. I have so many memories with this team,” Young said.
She didn’t get on the scorer’s sheet that night, but Young said it was a night that she’ll never forget.
“That was tough. They know I’m always a softy when it comes to stuff like that and I told her ‘Allison, don’t look at me, because I’m not trying to cry on the court in front of those people,’” Wade said.
Wade may have been able to hold back the tears, but Young wasn’t so lucky.
“I actually started to cry because it was just memories and memories of being on that court. It was a horrible feeling,” Young said with a laugh. “I’m glad I got to end like that, laughing with my team, smiling with my team. It was a great way to go out.”
But it wasn’t her last night with the team.
After undergoing successful surgery to repair a variety of problems with her right shoulder, Young rejoined the team and is now serving as something of an assistant coach. A job she is very comfortable with.
“I used to be his (Wade’s) point guard, so I’m used to taking his message and transferring it to the girls and it doesn’t change on the bench. We have great leaders on the court and I’m just trying to find my spot. It might not be dribbling the ball, it can be helping someone when they come to the bench. It’s just about finding another way to lead.”
Teammate Tori Norris said having Young around is making a huge impact on the team.
“It means a lot because she is a senior captain. She brings up the team even though she can’t play and can’t do the drills, she is still a big motivator,” Norris said. “She’s that person that will scream at us to get us motivated whether we like it or not.”
Norris went on to say the thing she misses most is having her “partner in crime,” out there on defense.
Nonetheless, Wade is happy to have Young around as an extra hand when he needs to send a message to his team.
“She is almost like an echo. Everything that I’ve said in the locker room, she is going to repeat it and she is going to make sure they hear it not just from my voice or the assistants, but from their captain.”
The Eagles are off to a 3-3 start and are one win away from setting the record for most in a season in program history. And even though she isn’t as big a part of that success on the floor, Young is overjoyed for her teammates.
“This team is something special. We haven’t had a team like this ever and I wanted to be a part of it. I love these girls, I would give my all for these girls and even though I can’t be on the court with them, I can be on the bench cheering with them,” she said.