Mott grad and former National JUCO Player of the Year Jay Youngblood putting up big numbers in Lebanon

Posted: December 20, 2010 by Patrick Hayes in Professional

Patrick Hayes | Great Lakes Hoops

No matter where he plays, you can always count on Mott grad Jay Youngblood offensively. He can just flat-out score the ball in a variety of ways.

Youngblood has been playing professional basketball overseas for the past four seasons. After a solid three-year run in Austria, including winning Austrian League MVP in 2008, he’s now playing in Lebanon, leading his team in scoring. Youngblood plays for the Champville club, the top team in the Lebanese league with a 12-1 record.

Youngblood has been scoring in bunches all season, but he had his best effort Dec. 19 in a win over Antranik, scoring 40 points in his team’s 98-60 victory. It was the fourth time this season he’s scored at least 25 points in a game.

“Nothing surprises me about Jay,” Mott coach Steve Schmidt said. “I have seen him get it going many times.  He is a genuine stat stuffer.  It looks like this time he stuffed the stats with points.  You have to respect his ability to shoot threes, but in my opinion he is so tough to guard because he can attack the basket and finish in traffic.  He has one of the best mid range games of any player that I ever coached.”

Youngblood, a Detroit native, was an immediate impact player at Mott. As a freshman, he averaged 17.9 points (on 64 percent shooting), 6.5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals per game. His scoring improved his sophomore year to 18.9 per game (55 percent shooting) and he also averaged 6.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.9 steals per game that year while leading Mott to a national championship and winning National Player of the Year honors.

“Jay was a very unique player,” Scmidt said.  “He was driven to be successful from the time he stepped on our campus.  He can get so much done without being flashy – just efficient.”

Youngblood moved on to Kent State, where he averaged 10.1 points per game as a junior, then upped that to 14.6 per game as a senior.

“We knew that Jay was going to have success after he graduated from Mott,” Schmidt said.  “It did not surprise me that he helped lead Kent State to the MAC championship and was considered to be one of the best players in the MAC.  I thought he would have success professionally because of his mental toughness, abilities and perseverance. ”

Overall this season in Lebanon, Youngblood is averaging 20 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 steals per game while shooting 49 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point range.

“I love Jay because he has never forgotten where he came from,” Schmidt said.  “Mott was great for him and he was great for Mott.”

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Comments
  1. waddmanjm says:

    Congrats to Youngblood. Another MCCAA player is doing well overseas.
    When 2009-10 America East Player of the Year Muhammad El-Amin heard from his agent that he had offers to play professional basketball in Hungary and Morocco, he initially resisted. It made more sense, he thought, to stay in America and try to play in the Development League of the NBA.
    But his supporting cast told him that playing overseas might be his best bet, and the Seawolf standout decided to give it a go.
    “I wanted to try the D-League, but that doesn’t start until November,” El-Amin said. “My agent and coaches convinced me to go try it out, and, if I didn’t like it, I could come back.”
    El-Amin signed with PVSK Pannonpower Pecs, a team in the Hungarian A-Division that came in 11th out of 14 teams last season, posting a 9-17 record.
    This season, featuring El-Amin, PVSK Pannon is 2-3, five games into a 26-game regular season. El-Amin, who wore number 35 for the Seawolves but now dons the number 8 jersey, leads the team with 17.8 points per game in a team-leading 33.2 minutes per game.El-Amin feels right at home in his important role with his new team. “I like making teams better,” he said.
    But it wasn’t always easy. At first, El-Amin said, playing in a country whose clocks are six hours ahead of those on the East Coast was difficult, but that over time he adjusted to the distance from home. “The first week was horrible for me,” he said. “I was ready to come home and couldn’t handle it. But after I knew how to get around, and faced the fact that I wasn’t going to be home for awhile, it got better. I would just be on my computer–on Skype, or Facebook–to talk to my friends and family.”
    The transition on the court was a little easier for the former Seawolves standout. Serbian head coach Mavrenski Ivica speaks English, and several teammates can speak the language too, though not so well, El-Amin said.
    In addition to the language barrier, El-Amin had to adjust to a different set of rules in the European game, but said that ultimately he is a good fit for the European game and his Hungarian team.
    “They expect the American players to do a lot,” he said. “I can bring my style of play, and take a little from the way they play, and it will make me better.”
    El-Amin said he hopes to use his career in Hungary to make the jump to bigger European leagues, such as those in Italy, Spain, France or Germany, where the bigger stars–and paychecks–are found. Then, El-Amin said, he hopes to one day make it back to the NBA.
    For now, El-Amin said, he is enjoying his time in Europe, playing basketball and gaining life experience.
    “It’s good to be over here…to see the other side of the world that some people won’t see in their lifetime,” he said.
    El-Amin on the Seawolves
    Muhammad El-Amin was the conference Player of the Year and team MVP last season. So how do this year’s Seawolves fare without their star guard? The new PVSK Pannon player says that the team will do just fine without him. “I heard Tommy Brenton got injured and that’s a big loss,” El-Amin said. “But they have everyone coming back this year, and I think if Eric McAlister, Preye [Preboye] and Dallis Joyner play with the confidence I know they have, then no one will be able to play with them.”
    El-Amin also warned that the Seawolves should be aware of the target on their backs.
    “They have to know everyone is coming after them this year,” he said. “It’s a whole new year.”

  2. Jared Field says:

    MEA was a nightmare to guard at the JUCO level.

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