Notre Dame recruit Jackie Young chasing Indiana scoring record

Ken Klimek
Tribune Correspondent

SOUTH BEND — One of the more remarkable records in high school girls basketball may fall Thursday night in southern Indiana.

It is the state career scoring record, a mark currently held by former Wawasee great and 2002 Miss Basketball, Shanna Zolman.

And the potential record breaker is Princeton (Ind.) High School senior, Jackie Young, a 6-foot-1 senior who will be playing next year for Coach Muffet McGraw at Notre Dame.

Zolman scored 3,085 points in her four years at Wawasee, while playing for her father and coach Kem Zolman. Young, who plays for Coach Charles Mair and the Tigers, currently has led her team to a 20-0 record going into Thursday’s away game with Wood Memorial. Young is averaging 31.2 points for her career and needs 28 to eclipse Zolman’s mark.

But there is more. Young has an opportunity as the season progresses to shatter the boys career scoring record as well. That mark of 3,134 points was established by former Indiana Hoosier Damon Bailey, who graduated from Bedford North Lawrence in 1990.

“I never imagined breaking those kinds of records,” said Young, Wednesday. “I work hard every day and know there is more than scoring. I try to get my teammates involved and know they can finish. I just have to dish to them if I am being over-guarded.”

“She is playing the best basketball I have seen her play,” McGraw said. “She reminds me of Kayla McBride. She can play every position and this year has been unstoppable. She can handle the ball, shoot the ball, shoot the 3, go inside, run the floor — she can do everything.”

A lot of that, according to Young’s high school coach, can be attributed to how hard she works. In an interview the day Young signed with Notre Dame, Mair said, “The most amazing thing about Jackie to me is how hard she works. She has an amazing work ethic.”

Young’s versatility is obvious. In her 98-game career she averages 5.6 assists, 10.3 rebounds and 3.5 steals. This season she is shooting 87 percent from the free-throw line (140 of 161).

Zolman was the same kind of player at Wawasee and later at Tennessee. 

“I hear Jackie has great qualities,” Zolman said. “If my record is to be broken I am happy it is someone like her who is humble, works hard and tries to make her teammates better. That is what I have heard of her.”

Young, in a quiet tone of voice, set some other goals for herself.

 “I hope we win another state championship (Princeton defeated Tippecanoe Valley for the Class 3-A title last spring) and I want to play in the McDonald’s All-American game,'' she said. "Then maybe I can get to Notre Dame in June and start working.” 

McGraw will be happy to have her. 

“She is constantly in the gym, playing through pain and injuries,” McGraw said. “She had a foot problem all summer, but kept playing with her AAU team. She just wants to play.”

“My foot is a day-to-day thing,” Young said. “I am doing what I need to do and it is fine.”

The Irish coach likes to focus on one game at a time, but did look ahead to Young’s arrival. 

“She will get a lot of playing time. We need everything she can bring us,” McGraw said. “It’s amazing how unselfish she is. You think she could get 50 every game.”

Zolman remembers how much she enjoyed her time at Wawasee and how much enjoyment Young must be having as she closes her career at Princeton. 

“I think high school ball is the purest form of the game,” Zolman said. “It was fun for me. It’s more of a job in college and the pros (Zolman played for San Antonia and Tulsa in the WNBA) for sure.” 

Notre Dame women's basketball recruit Jackie Young (3) of Princeton (Ind.) High School shoots over a defender during a game last month. (Evansville Courier & Press Photo/MIKE LAWRENCE)