Young left a legacy at Marietta

Many great players have come through the Marietta College men’s basketball program in head coach Jon VanderWal’s 11-year tenure.

A.J. Edwards is the only two-time All-American in program history. Jacob Owens put on some of the best shooting performances Ban Johnson Arena ever has seen, while RaNeal Ewing’s highlights dunks were equally as exciting.

Even going back to VanderWal’s first recruiting class, Trevor Halter and Kevin Knab hit some of the biggest shots in school history and helped put the Pioneers on the map.

But only one player in school history can say he was a major contributor on four Ohio Athletic Conference championship teams and four NCAA Tournament qualifying teams — Dillon Young.

Before Young arrived on the Marietta College campus, VanderWal turned the Pioneers into national contenders in Division III. With the addition of Young — and several talented teammates — Marietta became a year-in, year-out powerhouse.

Want proof?

In Young’s four years at Marietta he played in 118 games, missing only two his freshman season. The Pioneers were 99-19 in those games and 100-20 overall in Young’s four years with the program, making him the winningest player in school history along with classmates Connor McCreary and Isiah Barbra.

He was a member of two of the program’s deepest NCAA Tournament runs, making the Elite 8 as a freshman and the Sweet 16 as a junior. Young finished his career with a 5-4 record in NCAA Tournament games and an 8-3 record in OAC Tournament games.

As for accolades, Young was a first team All-OAC honoree as a senior while being named second team as a sophomore and honorable mention as a junior.

Just as important, Young laid the foundation and set the standard for what VanderWal looks for in a Pioneer.

“This guy’s been a model student-athlete,” the coach said. “Holy cow, I mean he’s an incredible leader and a great player.”

Young reflected on his time as a Pioneer basketball player following an NCAA Tournament opening round loss to Wisconsin-Oshkosh Saturday, the final game of his career.

“I can say it’s been an amazing ride,” Young said. “It’s definitely the best decision I ever made. I was so close with so many of the guys, the coaches and the community.”

Young finished his career with 1,242 points, the 17th-highest total in school history. An all-around, unselfish player, Young also totaled 369 assists, 442 rebounds, 130 steals, shot 47 percent (225 for 481) from 3 and 84 percent (193-of-231) from the free throw line.

Jordan Holland is an associate sports editor for The Marietta Times. He can be reached at jholland@mariettatimes.com

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