Kevin Young has been busy this summer but not too busy to find time to play recreational basketball.
Young, a 6-foot-9 sophomore power forward for Missouri, has spent the summer participating in workout sessions and taking classes. With classes ending last week, Young, 19, found time to play for Columbia’s Mid-West Motor Sports team in the 19-and-older division at the Show-Me State Games.
Despite Young’s dominant inside presence, Mid-West did not win a game. It lost all three games within its group and fell 78-52 to the K.C. Dawgs in the first round of the single-elimination tournament Saturday at the MU Student Recreation Center.
Young had 25 points in the loss, including a half-dozen dunks that drew cheers from the small group of 15 to 20 people watching. Playing all 40 minutes, Young dominated the opposition inside, but the Dawgs speed proved too much for a Mid-West team playing with six players.
Young said he was disappointed with his team’s finish but was glad he decided to play. He said he was asked to join Mid-West and gladly accepted the invitation.
“I know (Columbia), and these boys are locals,” Young said. “I just want to have a good time.”
Young’s Mid-West teammate Cedric Ganaway said the team was excited to have Young.
“He’s a good ballplayer,” Ganaway said. “He’s big and strong.”
In an earlier game Saturday against the SBU Bearcats, Young said he scored 22 points and said he felt good about his inside play.
“I hit a nice baby hook with my left hand,” he said. “I impressed myself.”
Young said he was also impressed with the play of many of the competitors.
“You got some good shooters out here,” Young said. “This is some DI talent for sure.”
Young has bulked up some over the summer and said he had put on at least 5 pounds of muscle. After losing more than 60 pounds since he came to Missouri a year ago, Young said he weighs 275.
Young said he has a long way to go to reach the level of MU teammates Arthur Johnson and Travon Bryant.
“AJ is just huge, and Travon throws me around,” Young said.
Young averaged 2.3 points, playing 13 minutes a game for the Tigers last season. He will have even more competition for playing time this season with the addition of freshman Linas Kleiza.