The Trae Young family has agreed in principle to make a $4 million donation that would help mitigate rising construction and design cost of a new indoor multi-sport facility in Norman.
The former Norman North and Oklahoma guard, who just completed his rookie NBA season with the Atlanta Hawks, and his family would pay out the donation over time, giving them naming rights and design involvement.
The donation could become official June 23 at Norman's next city council meeting. The Youngs have entered into a memorandum of understanding and agreed to its terms, city parks director Jud Foster said in an e-mail to The Transcript.
The gift aids increased construction and design costs to the indoor court facility, which also includes an indoor aquatic center. The city has lumped the two projects together with an estimated $58.8 million price tag. In April, the funding deficit for those facilities was $36.3 million.
The project falls under Norman Forward, a proposal voters pushed through in 2015 in an attempt to create, build upon and fund quality of life projects.
Young, 21, knows the importance local sport facilities can have. The former North and OU star grew up playing at the Cleveland County Family YMCA, and annually holds youth camps in Norman and the Oklahoma City metro.
After averaging 29.6 points per game and 9.3 assists this past season with the Hawks, Young finished second in NBA rookie of the year voting.
He's making use of his growing platform.
Last week, he spoke at a peaceful anti-racism and police reform protest at Andrews Park in Norman.
A day later, NonDoc published letters signed and sent to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt by Young, Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook, asking Stitt to commute the sentence of Julius Jones, who is on death row for a 1999 murder of which he claims he’s innocent.
“Right now, Julius Jones’ life is in your hands,” read part of Young’s letter. “When I am not sure what to do, I seek guidance from God. I pray that you will find in your hearts the love and mercy for Julius that I have found, and recommend and grant his commutation.”
Young's rookie year ended prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hawks weren't among the 22 teams set to restart the season in Orlando.
Ever since the NBA allowed players to leave their team markets, he has been in Norman. Young has stayed busy by playing in the Oklahoma City Skinz League, an organized system that has drawn pro and college players to the state.
— Transcript news writer Mindy Wood contributed to this report