Western Illinois Men’s Basketball: Young Enters 2020 With First Career POW Award


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Zion Young will enter the new year as The Summit League’s Co-Player of the Week, league offices announced Monday (Dec. 30). The sophomore forward shared the honor with Omaha’s Matt Pile after both helped guide their team to success in their Summit openers.

The award was Young’s first, as well as the first of the season for Western Illinois. 

“We are happy for Zion. He has worked really hard on his game and has embraced the importance of becoming an elite defender as well,” said head coach Billy Wright. “Zion is a gamer. He got into some foul trouble in the opening half [Sunday], but stepped up to the challenge and made some big plays for us in the second half. He’s been very coachable and is always looking for ways to improve and help the team.”

Young was a rebound shy of his second career double-double in the Leathernecks’ 82-75 victory over South Dakota. He entered halftime without a single point or rebound but flipped a switch in the second frame to finish with a team-high 21 points and a game-high nine boards.  

With 8:58 remaining, Western used an 8-0 run to break a 66-all stalemate, and Young had his hand in all three field goals. He scored five points and assisted Dre’Shawn Allen’s 3-pointer to help Western go-ahead for good.

The Leathernecks continue Summit League play at North Dakota State Thursday at 8 p.m.

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