An old Jewish proverb states that in times of hardship, one should not ask for a lighter burden but rather broader shoulders upon which that burden can be carried.
Florida Gators senior center Patirc Young – all six feet, nine inches and 240 pounds of him – was born with a frame that allows him to drag pick-up trucks and flip large tires but had to develop the mental strength and internal drive to assume the pressure that has been thrust upon him since his high school days.
Muscular and defined at 6-foot-8, 220 pounds as a senior in high school, analysts could not help but compare him to Dwight Howard more because of how he looked in a basketball uniform rather than by evaluating his actual game.
With size and strength not possessed by most teenagers, Young was physically dominant on the court and earned a five-star rating as a result. The No. 27 overall player in the 2010 recruiting class, he was the first of Florida’s five commitments that cycle.
Nothing he did during his freshman season with the Gators forced any adjustments to those expectations. If anything, Young’s energy and impact off the bench perhaps only fueled the belief that he would be absolutely dominant during his sophomore campaign – if he stayed in Gainesville, FL.