Walker High senior Tiara Young has officially pushed her recruiting process from idle into overdrive.
Young, who transferred from Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, whittled her list of schools that offered scholarships from 20 to a group of six finalists.
The University of Houston is the first school that will get an official visit on Sept. 7 from Young, the nation’s 27th ranked player by ESPN.com and 9th ranked combo guard.
Young also announced the LSU, TCU, Miami, Texas Tech and Ole Miss were among her finalists. She’s already made unofficial visits to Houston and LSU.
“It’s very difficult,” Young said of the process of eliminating schools. “Some people cut themselves; they stopped calling. I want to be signed before the season starts so I can just have fun my senior year. I did some research and at least tried to find where would I be able to come in and play and which schools fit me.”
Young didn’t indicate which five of the six schools will get her allotted five official visits, but plans to complete them in time to sign during the NCAA’s early signing period which begins Nov. 14.
Young said whichever school doesn’t get an official visit will be given an in-home visit.
The 5-foot-10 Young said she goes into the next phase of her process open-mind about her remaining finalists and said he doesn’t have a favorite.
“I’m excited and ready to see what they have to offer,” Young said. “It’s a brand new experience.”
Young would like find a system of play that’s fast and up tempo.
“I can play slow, but I would prefer to play up tempo,” she said.
It’s worked to this point in her career where Young has displayed athleticism and the ability to flourish as a scorer or passer in transition.
The four-star prospect played for her mother Meoko Young while at Evangel where she was twice named first team Class 5A All-State (2018, ’16) and once on second team (’17).
Young was also named to the USA Today All-American team in ’17.
Young enjoyed a spectacular junior season which turned out to be her final season at Evangel, averaging 27.2 points and 12 rebounds in helping the Lady Eagles reach the Division I state semifinals.
She scored in double figures in all 32 of her team’s games with 24 double-doubles. She had season highs of 37 points against Southwood and 15 rebounds twice.
With her father, Warren, having moved ahead of the family to begin a new job late last fall, Young and her mother moved after last school year and practiced a couple of times with her new team in late May for the start of summer league.
“I was excited, I was ready for a change,” said Young, who was born and raised in Shreveport.
Walker coach Korey Arnold said Young’s unselfishness and work ethic immediately endeared her to her new teammates.
“The main thing is she’s humble, she’s not a very cocky kid,”
Arnold said. “The kids were very accepting because she was willing to work just as hard as they were. She was willing to do the same training and work as the other kids were doing so they very accepting of her.”
That sincerity helped ease Young’s transition and helped foster a relationship that grew over the summer and transferred to the court during summer league and team camp play.
“It was a big adjustment, but I’ve had a lot of help,” Young said of having to change schools as a senior. “It’s calmer when you have teammates that help. It’s been relaxing.”