WALKER – In the end, Tiara Young’s decision came down to family, and it’s fitting.
Young, one of the nation’s top recruits, announced her commitment to LSU on Saturday at a gathering at her family’s home that featured family members and her Walker High teammates and coaches.
“I’m excited, very excited,” Young said after making her announcement. “It was very overwhelming. I enjoyed the process, but it was overwhelming. It was just a lot. It was stressful, and now that it’s done, I’m just thankful to be in this position.
“I feel like a whole bunch has just been lifted off of me. I just wanted to enjoy my senior year without being stressed or worried about what school I’m going to.”
Young, who transferred from Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, said she took all five of her allotted official visits, including one to LSU in late September. She whittled her schools down to six finalists in August, with LSU, TCU, Miami, Houston, Texas Tech and Ole Miss making the list.
“Every time I stepped on campus, I just connected,” Young said of LSU. “It was family, even with the players. We just clicked every time I was around them. That was one of the main things I was looking for in a school – family atmosphere – and I found it at LSU.”
That family vibe suits Young’s parents, Meoka and Warren Sr., just fine.
“You can feel the family atmosphere,” Meoka said of the LSU team. “We did plenty unofficials (visits). We did officials. (There was) not one time that we stepped on that campus that it didn’t feel like home, and as a parent, that’s what she needs.”
Warren Sr. echoed those sentiments.
“I think she chose the school she chose because our family’s tight,” he said. “That school showed a lot of love that’s consistent, and that’s something she grew up around. I think she fell in love with (LSU) in general.
“I knew it was going to be difficult to make that decision, but once she announced it, you could see it. It’s like a kid in a candy store right now. She’s having fun.”
Tiara Young, who averaged 27.2 points and 12 rebounds in helping the Lady Eagles reach the Division I state semifinals, said LSU and TCU were her finalists. Her parents said she'll sign during the early signing period, which begins Nov. 14, but an exact date hasn't been determined.
“I wanted to stay and do something for my home state, and that’s kind of what set them apart from everybody else,” Tiarra Young said, saying she built relationships with LSU coach Nikki Fargas and her staff. “When I stepped on campus, it just felt like home. I was very comfortable there.”
Coming into her senior year, Young, a five-star player, is ranked 26th nationally on ESPN’s Hoop Gurlz Super 60 and eighth at combo guard, a role she expects to fill at LSU.
“They said they’re going to use me as a combo guard,” Young said. “I’m positionless, and that’s what I play now, so I’m just ready to do whatever.”
Meoka Young, who is an assistant under Walker’s Korey Arnold after coaching her daughter at Evangel, said however the Lady Tigers utilize Tiara, they’ll get her best.
“She’s athletic, and she’s going to play on both ends of the floor, so I’m excited,” Meoka Young said.
With the decision behind her, Tiara Young’s focus is now on the upcoming high school season, for which she has lofty expectations.
“I feel like we’re going to be good,” she said. “I feel like we have a shot at the state tournament to win a state championship. We’re ready. I think we’re going to be something special.”