Unsung 2018 WNBA All-Stars: Tamera Young, Las Vegas Aces

A synopsis of why Tamera Young deserves to make the 2018 WNBA All-Star Team.

Who is Tamera Young?

Tamera “Ty” Young is an 11-year veteran who was drafted no. 8 overall by the Atlanta Dream in 2007. She was the first player from James Madison University to be drafted into the WNBA.

 

She spent the bulk of her career with the Chicago Sky (2009-17), then signed with the newly renamed/relocated/rebranded Las Vegas Aces as a free agent in February 2018. She wears #1 for Las Vegas. 

What is her playing position?

Young is formally listed as a 6’2” small forward but as the WNBA moves toward more positionless basketball, she is simply listed as a forward on team rosters. She has played point guard when needed and can take over a game and provide critical leadership when her team is floundering -- as she did against the Seattle Storm on June 19, when the Aces won on Seattle’s home court.

Why should she be an All-Star?

Let’s keep it 100: going from a team that boasted All-Stars Sylvia Fowles (they were teammates in Chicago from 2008-14) and Elena Delle Donne (they were teammates in Chicago from 2013-16) ...

... to a team that boasted All-Stars Sancho Lyttle, Tiffany Hayes, and Elizabeth Williams (Young was a member of the Atlanta Dream during the 2017 season when franchise player Angel McCoughtry sat out to rest) ...

... to a bunch of pups--albeit talented pups-- in Vegas can challenge even the most optimistic of outlooks. It could also be especially ego-bruising to have one of those pups anointed the franchise face and implied savior of a struggling franchise -- even if that pup was the number one overall draft pick and has more than proved herself worthy of that rank.

Young has handled the transition with grace and wisdom, and a helping of humor (if you haven’t checked out her Instagram page or Twitter feed, you’re missing out). 

She is well aware of what she can and cannot do; what she can do, she does brilliantly and what she can’t, she learns. She does what is needed, whether it’s starting a game or coming off the bench. She encourages the younger players and helps instill a sense of what it means to be a professional athlete, and the necessary sacrifices to excel at that level.

This season (#YoungieSZN, in case you missed it), Young has taken on the mantle of a mentor while providing stability for the youngest team in the league. She makes it a point to be a positive influence as much as possible; given that she has other, off-court interests, she understands that despite her love for the game, basketball is what she does, not who she is. Her clothing line, Ty1 Fashion, is a passion that will keep her engaged long after she’s hung up her WNBA jersey. This work/life balance lesson is something that she can impart to hungry younger players who may be too eager to make their mark without stopping to take advantage of every opportunity that playing professionally can offer.

Vote Tamera Young as a 2018 WNBA All-Star

The voting period runs until July 12. You can vote by:

  • Downloading the WNBA app (it’s free, for both iOS and Android)  and casting your vote for Tamera Young under the All-Star tab on the left-hand menu (you can only vote once per 24 hours)
  • Going to the WNBA All-Star player page on the WNBA website and voting there (you can only vote once per 24 hours)
  • Tweeting "Tamera Young #WNBAVote " (1 player per tweet; 10 tweets per Twitter handle, per day. Each tweet must be for a different player.)
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