Love and basketball … and service

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Naismith basketball player of the year scores service hours in Key Club.

Interview by Ariana Gainer
Photos courtesy Jackie Young

Jackie Young is a woman who doesn’t allow her phenomenal talent to diminish her heart for service. The 2016 Princeton Community High School graduate is the state of Indiana’s all-time leading high school basketball scorer—of girls and boys—with 3,268 career points. She now attends the University of Notre Dame, where she studies business. In April 2016, she was honored as the 2016 IndyStar Miss Basketball, presented by the Indiana Fever. She’s received many prestigious awards and recognitions, including Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year and the Naismith girls basketball national player of the year. What’s one of her favorite moments? Meeting Michael Jordan.

But there’s one thing about Jackie Young you won’t find in most sports stories about her. She was a Key Club member.


Key Club magazine: How did you develop a passion for basketball? What’s your favorite part about how the sport makes you feel?
Jackie Young: I started playing when I was four and never stopped. My family was a sports-related family. That’s how I got started. We all played sports. It was our way of coming together.

I like the way the game challenges me to be in shape and spend time in the gym and work on my form. And you have to work hard, so it’s nice to see the hard work pay off when you get an award or someone honors you.

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What would you are say are the three most important things in your life?

God, family and school and sports are probably the same.

Do you have a favorite basketball movie?
Definitely “Love and Basketball.”

What has basketball taught you about other areas in your life?
It taught me how to react to different situations. Playing the game is fun, but it doesn’t always have a fun outcome. It taught me how to deal with downfalls and be able to get back on my feet and know how to overcome that.

Princeton, Indiana, is a small town. What impact has it had on you?
Princeton definitely has had a big impact on me. The people support me at away games and homes games. They were always there supporting us, and I really felt it on the court.

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What are some of your goals outside of basketball?
Really to grow as a person, meet new people and to succeed outside of basketball.

Do you have a bucket list?
Not really. But I did get to meet Michael Jordan when I went to New York. I’ve been able to meet a lot of great basketball players. I also want to develop as a player and someday play in the WNBA.

When you leave Notre Dame, what legacy do you want to leave?
I want to focus on younger students. I looked up to the older kids in high school and their work ethic. And I think younger kids look up to me now. So I always want to make a positive impact on their lives and help them in any way that I can.

Tell us about your involvement in Key Club.
I was in Key Club for all four years of high school. It was my way of giving back to the people who supported me. I volunteered at polls and basketball camps to give back to the community.

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