August 28, 2013
By Kelly McHugh
From the rolling waves of the gulf coast to the rolling Flint Hills, K-State women's basketball freshman Erica Young is a long way from home.
The Tampa, Fla., native arrived at K-State this summer and now that she is living about as far from the beach as it gets, she said life in Manhattan is very different.
However different isn't always a bad thing, in fact, it is one of the reasons Young chose to be a Wildcat.
"I chose K-State because of the people and because it's such a great college atmosphere," Young said. "It's new, different, nothing like Florida. (K-State) was my number one choice out of five schools. I took my first visit here, which was kind of crazy because your best visit is supposed to be your last visit, but when I did come here I fell in love and was about to commit."
Young said she wanted to commit to K-State right away, but she took a few other visits just to be sure that Manhattan was indeed the place for her.
Also playing a key role in her decision to come to K-State was head coach Deb Patterson and her winning tradition in Manhattan.
"She's amazing," Young said with a smile. "She's all business on the court but off the court she's a lot of fun."
The 6-foot-3 forward went to Tampa Bay Tech High School and averaged 19.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks her senior year while also leading her team to a district title and 17-10 season.
Ranked as the No. 70 forward in the nation by ESPN Hoopgurlz, Young also played basketball with the Essence Girls Basketball Program in Florida along with long-time friend Ieshia Small, who is also entering her freshman season in the Big 12 this year.
"What I'm looking forward to the most (this season) is playing Baylor," Young said. "My best friend, Ieshia Small, plays for them."
Off the court, Young enjoys shopping and hanging out with her teammates and said that they, "all get a long very well." With the fall semester beginning this week, she can't wait to begin on her path majoring in communications as she wants to one day be a sports broadcaster.
Though the Little Apple is far different from the city and beaches of Tampa, Fla., it is exactly where Young wants to be.
And after a summer of hard work and training, she's ready to hit the court and show fans exactly what she can bring to the K-State women's basketball program.
Season tickets are available now for the 2013-14 women's basketball season. For more information, call 1-800-221-CATS or visit www.kstatesports.com/tickets.