(Courtesy Doug DeBiase, CACC Assistant Commissioner)
(The following is the first part of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) 10th Anniversary Retrospective Series on Felician College Athletics. Part one looks back at one of the school's most treasured student-athletes – men's basketball's Devon Young – over the past 10 years since the CACC became an active NCAA Division II conference. Parts two and three will be released later this afternoon on CACCAthletics.org)
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – When the term "student-athlete" was created, it was done with Felician College's Devon Young in mind.
Young did it all on the basketball court and in the classroom during his time in Rutherford, N.J. from 2007-11. He was the kind of student-athlete every school in America would wish for.
By the time he graduated in 2011 with his degree in accounting – along with a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 – Young had served as a three-time captain for the Golden Falcons, earned All-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) honors three times, been crowned a CACC champion, and racked up numerous academic honors from the CACC, CoSIDA, and the Arthur Ashe Foundation.
All that is just a summary of his extraordinary career.
It took only one season – his freshman year – for Young to show he was a cut above the rest. As a rookie in 2007-08, Young averaged 16.8 points per game, which ranked fifth in the CACC, while also topping 20 points in nine games. He earned CACC Rookie-of-the-Year honors, while also collecting Second-Team All-Met honors from the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association.
Despite all the individual accolades, Young was driven to achieve success with his teammates, but it didn't happen that season as Felician limped to a 10-17 finish.
Things, though, were about to change.
As Young grew, so did the Golden Falcons' program, and a year later with him serving as a team captain Felician improved its win total by six games to finish 16-13 and qualify for the CACC Tournament.
Young's play was a big part of the team's maturity. He earned Second-Team All-CACC and All-Met honors that year, while averaging 15.2 points per game (11th highest average in the league). He earned CACC All-Tournament honors for his play in the postseason as well. His all-tournament accolade was not the only post-season honor to come his way after the year. Two other accolades demonstrated his commitment to having an all-around collegiate career, as Young was named to the CACC All-Academic Team and was named an Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar.
Things were progressing nicely for Young and the Felician program, and both were about to take another giant step forward in the 2009-10 campaign. Once again serving as a captain, Young's play was unstoppable as he averaged 17.4 points and shot a career-best 53 percent from the field.
The team benefitted from his play, and the Golden Falcons reeled off win after win to claim the CACC North Division Championship, thus cementing Young's and the squad's status in Felician history. The ride, though, was just beginning and Felician took the momentum into the CACC Tournament, as once again Young played the hero by tossing in a school-record 39 points in a semifinal win over Philadelphia University. A day later in the finals, Young was just as magnificent going for a team-high 23 points (9-of-10 shooting) with eight rebounds, while playing all 40 minutes as Felician knocked off Goldey-Beacom to win the tournament championship and lock up the CACC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. It was no surprise that immediately following the championship win Young was named the most valuable player of the tournament.
Making the school's first appearance in the NCAA East Regional, Felician gave a spirited effort before falling to Stonehill in the first round. Yet again, Young did his part by pumping in a team-high 16 points. The Golden Falcons finished the campaign with a 24-7 record, marking the most wins in a single season in program history.
Young's play earned him a slew of individual awards following the season, including First-Team All-Met honors and Second-Team All-CACC honors. His dedication to being a scholar and outstanding representative of the school was once again recognized, as Young was named a Second-Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection, an Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar, and was placed on the CACC All-Academic Team for the second-consecutive year. He also received the CACC Individual Sportsmanship Award.
Young's senior season (2010-11) proved to be just as award-winning as the previous three seasons. Felician was one of the more competitive teams in the CACC, and reached the conference tournament for the third-straight year. Young averaged a career-high 19.4 points per game (2nd in the CACC), and was named to the All-CACC First-Team for his efforts. His on-the-court awards were not limited to the CACC, as Young was also named to the NABC All-District Second-Team and the Daktronics All-East Region Second-Team. Young also claimed First-Team All-Met for the second time in as many years.
His academic achievements grew even more, as he was named a Capital One Academic All-District First-Team selection, which enabled him to later be named a Capital One Second-Team Academic All-American. Young capped his academic accolades by being named an Ashe Sports Scholar and being placed on the CACC All-Academic Team for the third time in as many tries.
When it was all said and done, Young left Felician as the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,958 points, while also ranking among the top-five in team history in rebounds (630), assists (294), steals (131), and three-point field goals made (151).
His athletic stature was one to marvel at, but no doubt his academic success proved the quality education provided at Felician College, and the type of individuals the school attracts and produces on an annual basis.
ABOUT THE CACC
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician College, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Nyack College, Philadelphia University, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.
ABOUT THE CACC 10th ANNIVERSARY RETROSPECTIVE SERIES
During the 2014-15 athletic season, the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) is celebrating its 10th Anniversary as an active NCAA Division II conference. As part of this year-long celebration, CACCAthletics.org is conducting a Retrospective Series featuring each of the league's 14 member schools. During the months of February and March, each school will have its own day on the CACC website, as a student-athlete, team, and top moment from the last 10 years will be recognized by the conference. Each school's athletic administration determined the top student-athlete, team, and moment for the retrospective.