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Hoffman's Young off to Old Dominion
By John Leusch | Daily Herald Staff

Destinee Young of Hoffman Estates will play Division I college basketball at Old Dominion.


JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

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Published: 11/8/2012 10:30 PM

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Destinee Young was only 3 when she would head to the gymnasium with her father, Darrell.

“I would watch him shoot,” Destinee remembers. “After a couple of times, I picked it up and started shooting like him.”

Young has been shooting, and rebounding, the rest of her life.

And doing it as well as anyone in the northwest suburbs.

So well, that the Hoffman Estates’ 6-foot-1 senior forward has made a verbal commitment to Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va.

In 42 years of women’s basketball, the Lady Monarchs are 940-346 with 25 appearances in the NCAA tournament, the last in 2008.

There are currently no players from Illinois on the Old Dominion roster.

“I always envisioned myself playing Division 1,” said Young, who averaged 15 points and 11 rebounds for coach Mike Nocella’s Hawks as a junior. “Once I got serious and committed to the sport, I took it very seriously. The school even made a saying for me that said “D Young going D-1”.

And she will be going to a school she fell in love with.

“I loved the coaches, and the surroundings,” Young said. “I also felt like I connected with the team. Plus the fan support is amazing and everything felt right.”

Opposing defenses always felt Young is one to stop.

She drew a lot of extra attention last year but that hardly stopped her from scoring a team-high 439 points and grabbing 307 rebounds) with 2 assists and 1 steal per game as a junior.

Young shot 49 percent from the floor and was the top rebounder in the Mid-Suburban West with 109. “Anybody who played us knew what she is capable of doing and she was constantly double and triple-teamed,” Nocella said after last season. “Destinee is very athletic and dominant on the boards with good strength and mobility.”

Her father was the same way, leading Eastern Illinois on the boards in 1993 and 1994.

Destinee’s mother Sheriel also played basketball at Eastern.

“Both my parents were successful basketball players, and they never forced the sport on me,” Destinee said. “I just fell in love with it. I have to give them a big thank you because this journey definitely wasn’t easy and they never gave up on me. I truly appreciate them.”

Young also excels in the classroom where she is taking advanced placements courses in language and composition, and AP calculus. In the oast, she has taken advanced courses in European history, United States history and literature.

She always wanted to work in the health care field and plans to study dentistry.

Young becomes the fourth D-I player that Nocella has coached — Prospect’s Gabrielle Cottrell (Manhattan) and Marie Baker (Eastern Illinois) and Hoffman’s Megan Fischer (College of Charleston).

“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a player who received as much attention from D-I schools as Destinee,” Nocella said. “They liked her size, mobility and strength. She can get up and down the court, has good jumping ability and plays taller than she is.

“And she is already taking charge as a senior. She is opening up and becoming more confident.”