Chicago Sky Tamera Young uses basketball to empower youth

By Hannah Gebresilassie

WNBA’s eight-year veteran Tamera Young uses basketball as a platform to serve Chicago’s youth.

The Wilmington-native graduated from James Madison University and became the first WNBA player from the school. After becoming CAA Player of the Year, Young was selected as the no. 8 draft pick by the Atlanta Dream in 2008.

With nearly a decade of professional basketball experience, her passion for basketball and life goes beyond the game itself.

“Seeing my father fight for cancer, fight for his life,” Young says. “It just made me have more gratitude. It made me be more grateful for things and not feel pity or sorry for myself.”

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WNBA veteran Tamera Young shares her passion behind basketball following a community service event in Chicago. (Hannah Gebresilassie/MEDILL)

After losing her father to cancer last April, she is committed to community service and he is one of the reasons why.

“To see someone like that fighting for their life and I’m going through things thinking that I’m having a struggle and it’s not always as bad as it seems,” Young says. “So, I try to correlate that into basketball or my daily life and think about when I was there for my father and seeing his struggle.”

Young participates in community service events during the WNBA offseason including hosting youth basketball clinics and workshops.

The Chicago Sky is set to kick off their preseason on Sunday, May 1 in a contest against the New York Liberty. Young looks forward to the season as the WNBA celebrates its twentieth anniversary.

Photo at top: Tamera Young gives advice to young women and men at Chicago Sky youth clinic. (Iacopo Duemondi Luzi/MEDILL)