I was able to chat with former Kent State men's basketball swingman Jay Youngblood the other day. Youngblood is playing in Austria for the Furstenfeld Panthers.
Former Akron Zip Nate Linhart is on Youngblood's team. Recently, Linhart checked in with another writer to reflect on his early experiences, with a little help from Youngblood. "Jay Youngblood from Kent is on my team over here in Austria so it was good to know at least one person coming in," Youngblood told Cleveland.com. "It has really helped with the transition as Jay has kind of taken me under his wing and helped me get adjusted with all the subtle little differences in culture and lifestyle,'' Linhart said.
Youngblood has been back to Kent in the past to work out with his former teammates and some of the current Golden Flashes. Youngblood was an all-MAC performer his senior year while helping lead the Golden Flashes to the regular season championship and tournament championship in the 2005-2006 season. Youngblood was named the MAC Player of the Year by MAC Report Online his senior season. Here is an excerpt of what Jay had to say about how his hoop career is flourishing and how it has been playing with Linhart:
"I have been doing pretty well since I left Kent State. This is my fourth season in Austria. Since I've been here I won a Cup Championship, Supercup, and was MVP of the 2007-2008 season. Playing with Nate has been a cool experience. I knew he was good when he was a freshman and I was a senior but he took his game to another level over the years. I never thought I would ever be playing with a Zip but we joke about that all the time. I just wanted to make sure he knew the ins and outs of playing ball overseas and make him feel comfortable because its hard your first year out. My pro experience has been pretty good. I am learning new things every year and am blessed to have an opportunity to show my talent. I keep in touch with my teammates from Kent a lot while I’m over here. (Dre Haynes, Nate Gerwig, Mike Scott, Omni Smith, and Q) We all talk about how things are different in every country we go to and what the competition is like."