By Amelia Eck – Collegiate Staff
Sports in college are like minor careers. They consume most of an athlete’s time, effort, and sleep. Taylor Young, a sophomore at Grand Rapids Community College plays, not one, but two sports: basketball and softball.
A typical college student balances homework, reading, and quizzes in a week, not to mention battling the brutal weather walking from class to class. On top of it all, most students have a job. Imagine the life of a student athlete.
“She’s making a big sacrifice to play both sports at the same time,” GRCC basketball coach John Maciak said of Young. “Most people can’t do that. She’s a good student and is working hard … Basketball is a different game, and we’re not playing a half-court game, we’re playing a full-court game.”
Initially, Young signed to play softball for the Raiders. She has grown up playing softball since she was about five or six years old. Young plays two sports because she misses the feeling of balancing more than one.
“I played volleyball and basketball, and I was in the marching band,” Young said. “I wanted to stay in shape for softball, plus I missed it like crazy. Believe it or not, I loved being a three-sport athlete in high school.”
Young has played basketball since she was five and started volleyball in seventh grade. She had the opportunity to pursue a plethora of sports in college.
“I knew pretty much my sophomore year of high school I wanted to get a scholarship to go play softball in college somewhere, and I didn’t care where,” Young said. “It was only a struggle my freshman year because I didn’t’ know exactly what I wanted to do yet.”
She has now established herself as an efficient first baseman and pitcher on the GRCC softball team.
Young plays at power forward or center on the basketball court. The choice to participate in two sports, especially in college, can be a difficult thing. Taylor Young balances her time very carefully by updating her planner in a timely fashion and by making sure she prioritizes her time to ensure her grades don’t suffer.
“I’ve adjusted well,” Young said. “I like it. It reminds me of being in high school again. It has been kind of hard just trying to get back in the swing of things with school and work starting again, but not too overwhelming. My softball coach is very supportive of my decision. She likes the idea of staying in shape for softball; she believes ‘you’re only in college for a short amount of time, so why not do it all?’ Sports are not forever.”
Young is exceptional at training and exceeds at both sports. Though in the middle of basketball season, Young still practices and trains for softball everyday, as well as keeping up with her grades.
Young plans to get her Associate’s degree from GRCC and to, eventually, get her Bachelor’s and Master’s from Michigan State University or Wayne State University. Young wears number 44 on the court and number 19 on the field.