Curtains closing on volleyball player’s juggling act

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The 6-foot-9 middle blocker is working hard to take the Cougars to the national championship.

But as if playing a collegiate volleyball didn’t take up enough time, Devin Young has several other activities filling his plate. Work, marriage, school and fatherhood all give Young plenty to do when he’s not on the court.

Senior Devin Young skies for a spike in a game earlier this season at the Smith Fieldhouse. Photo by Elliott Miller
Senior Devin Young skies for a spike in a game earlier this season at the Smith Fieldhouse. Photo by Elliott Miller

“You know, it’s priorities,” Young said. “I have my school time, my volleyball time, and then I have my family time. The easiest one to neglect is family, so it’s important to me when I have family time — it’s sacred to me to be able to be with my family.”

BYU head coach Chris McGown praised Young for his ability to prioritize.

“It’s a tough balancing act for him for sure,” McGown said. “But I think he’s done a really, really good job. He sets himself up to be great at whatever he is doing, whether it is work or school or family.”

Although he is extremely busy, Young has never considered giving up volleyball.

“My wife has been super supportive,” he said. “Volleyball has always been a part of the plan. I think she carries most of the burden there, especially with our son, but she’s been such a good sport about it, and I can’t thank her enough for what she does so I can keep playing.”

Known on the court as DY, Young, from Pittsburgh, has had a great final season with career highs in digs and service aces, along with high hitting percentages.

Fellow middle blocker Michael Hatch has looked up to Young for his leadership this season.

“He’s definitely stepped into a new role this year, being a senior and one of the team captains,” Hatch said. “Being in the same position as DY, he always pushes me to do better and try my best.”

McGown also noticed the contributions Young made to the team every year and the progress he has made as a player.

“He’s been laying the groundwork for this season, and he’s had a phenomenal year,” McGown said. “He’s gotten better and better and better, and it’s just been interesting to see how his work ethic has transferred into improvement day by day. He’s really conscientious about getting better.”

Young first played volleyball during high school after being inspired by his older brother and father. Young’s father was his assistant coach during high school.

“My dad is my biggest role model in athletics, not only because he’s a hard worker and good athlete, but more with how he treats my mom and our family and his testimony of the gospel,” Young said.

Although he does not plan on pursuing a career in volleyball, Young hopes to one day coach like his father — maybe for his own son.

Finishing his volleyball career will take an item off Young’s plate, but he isn’t eager to leave the team.

“Most of all I will just miss being around these guys; I love my teammates,” Young said. “They’re all awesome, and it will be a lot different not spending so many hours with them all the time.”

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