Blogs > Sixers Dish

A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Thursday, March 28, 2013


(Associated Press)
This time of year, NBA players take a rooting interest in the NCAA Tournament. A couple of guys in the 76ers' locker room, those who have played in the Big Dance, start telling stories about their long-ago glory days … from as far back as this decade.

Thaddeus Young is preoccupied. Of course, he watches the games. But the man is busy, considering all the titles he's carrying around: Starting forward. Husband. Father. Student.

Young, who attended Georgia Tech for one year before declaring his eligibility for the 2007 NBA Draft, is continuing his studies. He's taking online classes toward a degree in organization management and business at Victory University, located in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.

He even served as a student assistant coach for Victory during the 2011 lockout.

“You could say I was on scholarship,” said Young, who today with the Sixers heads to Cleveland for Friday's game. “During the lockout, they asked me to be a student-assistant coach. It was just one of those things where I was, like, coaching. They gave me a scholarship. I was just helping them out. If I saw them doing something wrong, I told them something and they would do it. They listened.”

Because of his status as a family man – with wife, Shekinah, and their two-year-old son TJ – and the rigors of his day job, Young is continuing his education at a slower pace. He takes two classes throughout the course of the NBA season, then takes four during an eight-week stretch during the offseason. He said he's able to knock out a lot of the work at the beginning of the week.

“Right now, I think I'm doing pretty well juggling it,” he said.

“I usually do all of my work at the beginning of the week and just chill for the rest of the week. I knock it all out – discussion questions and all.”

Young said he doesn't miss the traditional classroom setting.

“No. No. No. I'd rather do online any day, because I can do it at my own pace,” he said. “It still has to be done at a deadline, but it's good this way. At Georgia Tech, they didn't want you to do everything at the beginning of the week. With this school, you can do it and, as soon as you get done, you can chill, relax and take it easy.”

At his current pace, it could be another two to three years before Young earns his bachelor's degree.

“Hey, I'm trying to finish,” Young said, laughing, “so give me some credit.”

A Memphis native, who graduated from the city's Mitchell High, Young said picking Victory University was a no-brainer. So was deciding to coach with the Eagles during the 2011 NBA lockout, which delayed the start of that season to Dec. 25. Victory is attempting to join either the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) or the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

After his run on the bench at Victory, Young said he'd consider a future career in coaching.

“Probably so,” Young said. “I don't want to coach in the NBA. I want to coach in college.”

He got a good sneak-peek at Victory.

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