PRINCETON — Princeton's city government wants to partner with the community to find the best way to honor native Jackie Young, who starts her WNBA career in Las Vegas in coming weeks.
Mayor Brad Schmitt and Common Council President Jan Ballard, council members and board of works members all agreed Monday night that it's proper to recognize the 2016 Princeton Community High School graduate's accomplishments throughout her career.
Ballard said he believes the city should meet with the Young family and others in the community to come up with an appropriate tribute. "If we do something on a scale like she is, it will be off the charts," he said. "She's a great individual and I think she should be recognized."
Councilman Greg Wright made note of other notable people with Princeton ties, such as baseball great Gil Hodges, Wendy's founder Dave Thomas and popcorn king Orville Redenbacher — but distinguished Young: "She's our Larry Bird, if you will," he suggested. "How much is a bronze statue?" he asked.
The mayor described Young as "phenomenal," and said Young and her family are great examples of what it means to be from Princeton.
Council members agreed to continue discussing a suitable way to recognize Young, dubbed by many with the hashtag: #JustAKidFromPrinceton.
Young holds the Indiana high school state scoring record, helped lead the 2015 girls basketball team to their first state championship win, earned The Naismith Trophy Girls High School Player of the Year and other honors in 2016 before starting her career with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's basketball team. Her team won the 2018 NCAA national title her sophomore year and was a finalist for the 2019 title in her junior year.
With a year of eligibility to play for Notre Dame left, Young entered the WNBA draft last Monday and became the No. 1 draft choice for the Las Vegas Aces WNBA team last Wednesday.
A day later, she was back in Princeton visiting the high school and friends. Her family and friends celebrated with a send-off party Friday at the Princeton Elks Club.