Ian Young is a 31 year old 191 cm point guard from Florida that is playing his ninth professional season and first in Italy for Aget Service Imola (Italy-Lega Due Gold). He played at Auburn and turned professional in 2005. He played in Germany early in his career for ratiopharm Ulm and also played in countries like France, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Iran, Argentina, Lebanon, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominion Republic, Mexico, and Egypt. He spoke to German Hoops about his basketball career.
Thanks Ian for talking to German Hoops. It seems like ages that you played in Germany with ratiopharm Ulm. Since then you have played in 13 countries, why do you think haven´t you returned back to Germany again? I am sure some teams must have had interest in you?
Yeah its been a while, that was during my second year out of college and I’ve been out 9 years now. as far as returning to Germany I had some interest but at the time I had better offers money wise in other countries but I would love to return Germany and play some day.
You are playing now in your 14th country Italy for Aget Service Imola (Italy-Lega Due). One could call you a basketball nomad. You must be an expert over the years for getting the best baggage for your many trips that you have had to take or not?
Yeah as I tell my wife when it comes to packing I’m an expert.
You played in lower leagues the last years, but now your back in Europe playing in a strong league the lege 2 in Italy. Is the job market at times more of a lottery, because there are so many good players out there, that one cant always land in the better leagues?
I wouldn’t consider Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Argentina and other leagues in Latin America lower level leagues. Actually I think there as strong or stronger than some good leagues here in Europe. Those leagues are full of ex NBA and Euroleague players. As far as the job market it tough sometimes there are so many players that you have to be in the right situation basketball and money wise.
How excited are you about playing in Italy for the first time in your career? You should be a main focus of the team together with rookie Warren Niles.
Yeah im very excited it’s a chance for me to finally make a name here in Europe and finish this last part of my career strong starting here in Italy. The city and the team has welcomed me and I’m very happy to be here.
What goals are you striving for now at age 31? I suspect titles is what is on the menu?
As you get older you start to understand that the only thing that matter is winning.nothing else.
Lets go back to earlier in your career when you played in Germany for ratiopharm Ulm. What memories do you still have from the league?
Tough competitive league with great foreign and domestic players and passionate fans one of the best countries I’ve played in.
Where would you rate it to the other many leagues that you have played in during your career?
Its right up there at the top. One of the best for sure
You came in November to the team and didn´t really get sufficient playing time. Was there not enough room at the guard position with Jonathan Levy and Austin Rowland?
It was a situation where they had guys that were there already established and I had to play a certain role I didn’t understand it at the time but I do now.
Your coach was Mike Taylor who now coaches in the D-league for the Maine Red Claws. What do you still remember from his coaching style and what could you learn from his methods?
Really a great coach. A real hard worker who loves the game and his team and will do anything for the guys he’s in the locker room with. His coaching style is similar to what we do in the US but with a European twist.
Jeff Gibbs was three inches shorter than you, but your center. What was more amazing his rebounding skills or just his neverending effort on the court?
Jeff amazed me everyday. To see a guy at that size do the things he did, I always told him he’s a smaller Charles Barkley. To me both because you have to have nonstop effort to rebound the way he did at that size.
You had the chance to play NBA Summer league once in 2008 with the Golden State Warriors. What memories do you have from that summer?
Just the talent that was there. The all time great NBA legends in the crowd watching you play, the whole atmosphere was just amazing.
You never played D-league. Did you never have aspiration of going the D-league route and possibly getting noticed by an NBA team with good stats?
I did but again financially having a family I choose not to persue it, but if I could do it all over again I would have did the D league fresh out of college.
Are you sad that you didn´t have more opportunities to have played in Europe? You played a lot in South American and the middle east. What benefits did you have besides getting a healthy pay check?
No because I had a chance to meet so many great people and learn from so many different cultures. That’s something I will cherish for the rest of my life. All because of basketball, plus im 31 now and still have a chance to make my mark in Europe.
What was your fondest memory of playing together with ex NBA player Eric Washington in Finland. You and him were two and three in scoring in the league.
He was one of the funniest players ive played with. He’s an University of Alabama guy and I’m an Auburn guy so if you know anything about that rivalry were weren’t supposed to get along but we did great. He was a great guy
NBA players like Marquis Daniels and Jamson Brewer played at Auburn before you came. Were you a bit sad that you weren´t able to transfer to Auburn sooner so you could of played with guys like that?
Marquis is actually from my hometown of Orlando but to play with those guys would have been great. To learn from them would have helped me out tremendously.
Who was the toughest player that you played against in the NCAA that made the NBA? How did you play against him in your college meetings?
Rajon Rondo. I tell people this all the time I actually outplayed him but to be fair he was a freshman and I was a senior. But its still fun to tell people I outplayed one of the best PG’s in the NBA.
What were the most free throws that you have made in a row in a practice without missing?
Over 100 but not sure the exact number but I know its over 100.
What was your most amazing shot that you ever made in a game or practice that went in?
I hit a half court shot right before halftime against our rival Alabama on ESPN that made ESPN top 10.
What was your last DVD movie that you saw?
l don’t know about DVD but the last movie I saw was Smufs 2 with my babies Tiana and lil Ian.
Thanks Ian for the chat.