The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 73   WHERE ARE THEY NOW? heard those words from an opponent … far from it. After getting acclimated to the "run and gun" European style, Young settled down and enjoyed a solid first season with his Racing Bas- ket Antwerp club in Belgium, averag- ing 12.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. He moved up to a more competitive league in Italy for his second year, eventually played in Poland and split a year between Germany and France before spending his last several years back in Belgium. Along the way he lived near the Baltic Sea and also five minutes from the leaning Tower of Pisa, had the opportunity to tour Red Square in Moscow with his Polish team, lived within driving distance of Paris and saw the beaches of Normandy. His basketball got better, too. He averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds in Belgium in 2011 and won the Star of the Coaches, one of the two league MVP awards. "I really didn't have any idea what to expect. When I first got overseas, it was culture shock," he said. "I was away from everyone and everything was new. I wasn't sure at first, was saying, 'I don't know if I'll make it.' But I immersed myself in the culture and the way of doing things, became friends with lot of the local Belgian guys I was playing with. "I just started to enjoy it. My cop- ing mechanism was to distance my- self from everything, not really fo- cus on what was going back home. I knew I was missing Christmases, birthdays and all that, and family was always very important to me." He and his wife, Heather, would take full advantage of their opportu- nity abroad. "We typically played every Satur- day, would have our Sundays free, so my wife and I would get in a team car and go anyplace that was within a three- or three-and-a-half-hour drive radius of where we lived," he re- called. "We visited about every small town in the middle of Tuscany, all these little towns and shops. My wife spoke Italian, so they'd pour us some wine and say, 'We send all the bad stuff out of country, keep the good stuff here … let me pour you some!' "It was absolutely amazing. It got to be not boring, but normal life. I can vividly remember a conversation I had with my dad in 2010-11 after we had been overseas for a long time. "He asked, 'What are you guys do- ing today with your Sunday after- noon?' I told him we had just jumped in the car and were headed to Paris for lunch, walk around and do some shopping before coming home. When I asked, 'What are you doing today, Dad?' he said, 'I'm going to Toledo [Ohio].'" Young could have continued to play, but retired two years ago and moved back to Ann Arbor — "We left 95 per- cent of our stuff behind and came back with nine checked bags, three pallets of stuff and a 3-month-old," he quipped — to be closer to family. He joined Advanced Appraisals in How- ell, Mich., as a real estate appraiser 18 months ago and continues to follow Michigan basketball closely. He's starting phase two of his life, and he couldn't be happier. "It feels strange to be doing it at 37 years old, but I don't take what I've been able to do for granted," he said. "I was able to see and do things be- fore 25 years old I never thought I'd be able to do in a lifetime. "Life is good." ❏ Michigan Accomplishments: Michigan basketball cap- tain, 2001-02 … Finished third on the team in scoring as a senior with 11.4 points per game … Shot 9 of 12 from the floor and 7 of 7 from the line in a loss to Duke, outdueling Blue Devils big man Carlos Boozer … Ranked eighth all time in career blocked shots (93) and 11th in all-time block average (0.79) when he left … Bill Buntin Award winner as team MVP, 2002 … Rudy Tomjanovich Most Improved Player Award winner, 2000 and 2001 … Shared the Thad Garner- ship Leadership Award in 2002, and earned the first annual Iron Man Award honoring the U-M basketball player who exhibits toughness, aggressiveness and heart on the court. Michigan Memory: Young didn't stop being a Wolverine after he left Michigan. One of his most vivid memories was watching the Michigan-Kansas NCAA Tournament game with his visiting father in 2013 when guard Trey Burke hit a 30-footer down the stretch to send it to overtime in a game the Wolverines won. A year later, Travis Releford, the Kansas guard victimized on that play, would be Young's teammate in Belgium. "It was 2:30, 3:00 in morning when the game started. When they got down big, my dad went to bed," Young recalled. "I stayed up and watched, paused it when it got close and ran upstairs, shaking my dad to wake him up. We were jumping up and down after watching Trey hit that shot, going nuts. "So the very next year I played with Travis … and I rubbed it in every chance I got. I was killing him, especially because at that point I had been over there 11 years, he was a rookie. He'd say, 'That was a moving screen,' this and that … but come on, man. That was the best player in college basketball making an amazing shot." Professional Accomplishments: Spent 12 years in Eu- rope, starting with the Racing Basket Antwerp club in Bel- gium and playing with other teams in Belgium, Poland, Italy, Germany and France. Earned league MVP honors in Belgium in 2011, averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds per game. Current Occupation: Retired European basketball player, now a real estate appraiser in Howell, Mich. Education: Bachelor's degree in sports management and communications, 2002. Family: Young and his college sweetheart, the former Heather Dalewski, have been married for 13.5 years and reside in Ann Arbor with their 2.5-year-old son, Alexander. Heather played professional volleyball in Belgium for a stretch. The Chris Young File Young enjoyed a 12-year professional hoops career in Europe, which afforded him the opportunity to immerse himself in the cul- ture and sightsee abroad. PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS YOUNG

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