LEXINGTON — James Young had a new, short haircut — he says he just felt the need for a change a few days ago — when he came to the John Calipari ProCamp. The former Wildcat said his new team, the Boston Celtics, didn’t dictate the change in hair style.
“Going from being in college to the NBA, I just wanted to make a change. A new look for myself. That was just it,” he laughed and said.
Young’s new team is happier that he’s been cleared to play after missing the summer league with a concussion. He was injured in a car accident in Los Angeles — “just the car in front of me stopped so fast and I just didn’t react fast enough and just rear-ended them” — and the Celtics held him out of summer league games.
“It was tough for me because I had a concussion. I got a chance to meet with some of the guys and stuff like that. Great team, great facility, and the coaching is really great. So I had a chance to just walk around and talk to some of the guys about their past experiences and stuff like that. They’re a bunch of great guys.,” Young said.
He has yet to meet former UK star and Boston point guard Rajon Rondo.
“We were in and out at different times,” Young said Tuesday. “I was always in when he was out. So when we get together at the same time, I’m pretty sure we will (talk about UK).
He said the accident really “opened my eyes” about what could happen.
‘It shows how fast things can change. It really opened my eyes about things and I’m very blessed that I’m here and I get to still play,” Young said.
He’s anxious to show what he can do on the court.
“The Celtics have a lot of faith in me. Before the accident I was working on my footwork and my right hand,” he said. “That’s what they wanted to see improve, so that’s what I’ve been working on.”
He says playing for UK has helped him prepare for being with Boston, a team with 17 NBA championships.
“I feel like their sports are just like Kentucky’s and their fan base is just amazing, just like Kentucky’s is. So I feel like I’ll be in the same place, like I was just here at Kentucky. They care about their sports a lot, just like they do here,” Young said.