Former Drake standout Josh Young has established himself on and off the court in Germany over the past 10 years
By Tom Ballato
Josh Young spent four seasons at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The 6’1″ guard from Lawton, Oklahoma left his name in the record books at Drake. He left the program after graduating in 2010 as the program’s all-time leading scorer (a record that was broken in 2018).
His stellar career at Drake included a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2008 during his sophomore year. That season the team finished with a record of 28-5 overall and a 15-3 conference record under first year head coach Keno Davis. They won both the regular season and conference tournament titles in the Missouri Valley Conference. He finished his career with many fond memories at Drake, but when asked about his fondest memory, Young responded, “My fondest memory at Drake has to be our bracket buster game in 2008 against the then #8 ranked Butler Bulldogs. My team has cracked the Top 25 and so the match up was highly anticipated. It was an instant classic and I lead my team with 25 points to our only upset of a top ten team that season.”
After a brief stint in the NBA Developmental League, Young began his professional career overseas in Germany with the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. He is now in his 10th year professionally and has spent his entire career in Germany. For an import that is almost unheard of, but for Young living and playing in Germany has been a dream come true, but it hasn’t come without adversity.
Earlier in Young’s career, he had cartilage deterioration in his left knee. A painful injury in which doctors said he would need surgery. The doctors thought he wouldn’t be able to play high level basketball again, but he proved them wrong.
Throughout his ten years in Germany, Young has played on three different clubs since his rookie season, Walter Tigers Tubingen, Nurnberg Falcons BC, and SC Rasta Vechta. Young spoke about what has kept him in Germany his whole career by saying, “I’ve been extremely blessed to play in a country like Germany for my entire career. It’s a country with great basketball leagues, nice economic stability, and high quality of living. I’ve tried my best to establish myself as someone who can add value to any team both on and off the court. I believe that the combination of my ability to play as well as provide , leadership to my teams has been a prime reason that I’ve kept teams in this country interested in signing me.”
Basketball is Germany has improved tremendously throughout Young’s professional career. The development of local talent has been producing high level basketball players in recent years. There is also a six foreigner rule that makes playing in Germany very competitive. The leagues in Germany have also made strides to improve their visibility through television, advertisements, and marketing campaigns according to Young.
Young has taken many younger players under his wing. As far as his role for this year, he replied, “My role on the team as most experienced players is to bring an element of leadership both on and off the court. My role on the court is an extension of the coach and someone who looks to create for the team and always keeping us on the same page.”
Recently, Young played his 100th game with his current club SC Rasta Vechta. This was a huge milestone for Young. His team currently sits in 8th place in the German Basketball Bundesliga League, which is the highest professional league in Germany. Through 10 games, Young is putting up 12.1 points, 3.5 assists per game on 44.8% shooting.
This past summer, Young played in The Basketball Tournament (TBT) for Iowa United, which is a team comprised of four Division 1 colleges in Iowa. These schools are Drake, Northern Iowa, Iowa, and Iowa State. Young got a chance to play in the United States again in front of family and friends. He had this to say about the tournament, “The TBT was an amazing experience. The event is so professional and organized and it really attracts some of the summer’s best talent. I’m looking forward to playing in it again this summer.”
Young has chosen to stay in Germany despite numerous offers throughout the years to play elsewhere. He’s established himself as a leader on and off the court, a well respected basketball player, and he’s enjoying everything country of Germany has to offer.