Isis Young G'22 was pulling double duty during a basketball double header, and she had a camera crew following her every move. Back-to-back games aren't uncommon, but Young's particular double assignment was a first. She suited up and played the opening game of a men's-women's double header for the Syracuse basketball team, then she showered, changed clothes, and got ready for the men's games... as the television studio analyst.
"It was the best day of my life, by far."
Young has always played basketball, but her path to the TV studio wasn't planned. Neither was her journey to Siena. A knee injury set both in motion.
With seconds to play in one of the final games of her high school basketball career, Young planted her foot awkwardly, and she knew something was wrong before she hit the floor. By then, the New Jersey native had already committed to play basketball at the University of Florida. She still went to the Swamp, but sat out her freshman year while she recovered from ACL surgery. Young played the following season, but the program no longer fit with her style. She decided to transfer to Syracuse, which was closer to home, though NCAA rules at the time required her to sit out a season. In the meantime, she found her academic calling.
Young assumed she would pursue criminal justice and maybe be an attorney like her dad. But, as it turns out, that would require way more reading than she bargained for. Instead, an academic advisor at Syracuse suggested communications. Within months, Young (who goes by the nickname Ice) created her own show, 'The Icebox.' A career was born. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications, then played her 3rd season of basketball (her 5th year in college) while earning her master's from Syracuse's Newhouse School. By then, Young was regularly working as a TV analyst and host, though playing and broadcasting in the same day was a first.
After graduation, Young could have started her professional broadcasting career, but she still had one year of NCAA eligibility remaining. She decided to exhaust her eligibility before starting her career and enrolled as a graduate student at Fordham University. Before the season ever started, she tore her knee for the second time. She stayed at Fordham, had a second surgery, picked up a third degree, and then had to make a decision about her future. Because she was unable to play for the Rams, she still had one season of NCAA eligibility left. And that's how she found her way to Siena...
While in New York City, Young picked up broadcast work for Fordham, Manhattan, and Columbia. While earning her MBA, she continued to work behind the microphone at Siena, most recently calling the women's soccer MAAC championship game for ESPN 3. And, as a Saint, she finally got back onto the court. The knee, as it turns out, had healed just fine. Young led the entire conference in scoring this season, averaging nearly 19 points per game.
“Siena provided me the opportunity to end my college career on my own terms. I’ve made so many stops throughout my college journey, but I’m most proud to have worn green and gold at the end of it. I’m so thankful I fought through my second ACL surgery. It was the obstacle I needed to overcome to have a season I’ll always remember.”
After seven years and four colleges and three degrees, Young earned a scoring title and concluded her amatuer athletics career. Or did she?
Because of the pandemic, the NCAA granted all student athletes one bonus year of eligibility, if they wanted. Young had the option of playing a 5th season and becoming the first student athlete in history to compete over eight years. Also, ESPN came calling. She had the opportunity to broadcast college basketball games for the Worldwide Leader in Sports. In the end, she chose door number three. It's always been Young's dream to play professional basketball, and at Siena, she proved to professional scouts that her knee wasn't a concern. Later this year, she'll begin her pro career with the Saarlouis Royals in Germany, and she'll know someone when she gets there.
Not many American parents can say they have a child playing professional sports in Germany. The Youngs will have two. And they each play a different sport. Young's younger brother, Isaiah Young, plays for Rot-Weiss Essen, in Germany's 4th division of professional football (soccer). Isaiah has played in Germany since 2017, and his parents are used to making the trip. Now they'll have two reasons to visit, and twice as many games to attend.
"When I first started thinking about where I wanted to play overseas, I immediately said I wanted to be near my brother. He’s been in Germany almost four years now and has adjusted well. I hope by the time our season starts in September, fans are allowed to be back at the games. We will most definitely drive around Germany to see each other play. For me, I’m just looking forward to knowing that even though I’m so far from home, I’ll get a sense of home when I can see my brother. I’m really looking forward to that."