P.K. Yonge sophomore guard Ashlyn Young spots up for a three against Williston on February 2, 2024. (Trey Johnson/Quiet Kid Media)

​​ P.K. Yonge’s Ashlyn Young has over 1,000 career points.

. The sophomore guard achieved the milestone in the first quarter of last week’s game against Williston. She would score 33 points in her team’s win.

How does a sophomore score 1,000 points?


Born To Play

Young’s success on the court is no surprise to her mother, Brigette Hart-Sams.

 “She’s been in the gym since she was born,” she said.


Hart-Sams’ oldest daughter, Kiarah Mallory, is 11 years older than Young. Mallory set the precedent for Young to follow as the two train together occasionally.


“I started playing basketball because my sister played,” Young said. “It just grew into me.”


Young officially touched the court at 4 years old. However, her mother knows the journey started well before then.


“Because of my older daughter, [when] I was pregnant [Ashlyn] was still in the gym,” Hart-Sams said. “She’s always heard the basketball bounce.”

Young in sixth grade poses for a picture while dribbling between her legs.

Surprise Appearance

Young quickly began to turn heads on the court. The point guard held her own against the boys in her co-ed basketball league.


As she entered the sixth grade at P.K. Yonge Development Research School, varsity basketball coach Willie Powers also took notice.


“I had a conversation with her mom,” Powers said. “It could help the varsity team, but it would also help [Ashlyn].”


 Hart-Sams was more relaxed during this conversation. She had a similar experience with Mallory, who started playing varsity in seventh grade. Hart-Sams remembers being scared about her child playing with bigger and older kids.


“That was terrifying,” she said.


However, she thought Young could handle it. Hart-Sams said that her youngest daughter likes to prove people wrong. That attitude spilled onto the court as Young became a starter as the season progressed.


Young said she remembers being scared at first. Yet, once she settled in, she began to enjoy it. While she could not play with her friends, she said seeing them excited about her accomplishments was cool.


Young would go on to claim second-team all-area honors from the Gainesville Sun.


“It was probably the best thing for Ash,” Powers said.

P.K. Yonge bench celebrates a made three-point basket. (Trey Johnson/Quiet Kid Media)

The Selfless and Fearless Leader

Young is a captain this year. She said she watched her older teammates to see how they led and how it affected the team. She says she tries to improve upon what they did by keeping the energy positive and boosting her team’s confidence.


Powers said that Young’s consistency is what earned her the role. Aside from talent, he said that Young always shows up ready to go.


“When we have conditioning, workouts [and] you’re there every day you’re pretty committed to being a captain,” he said.


Powers also said that she is constantly looking to make her teammates better. He noted that Young could have reached 1,000 points two years ago.


“She’s selfless,” he said. “I’ve watched Ashlyn give up points to other people.”


He said she’s one to make the extra pass. Powers admitted that her team-first mindset can sometimes be frustrating. He said there are times when he wishes she would take over. Yet, he said he would love to play with someone like her.


“If I’m a player, I know she’s going to find me,” he said.


Hart-Sams said she was surprised that Young was so unselfish. With the age difference between her children, Young grew up like an only child. She said she wasn’t expecting her daughter to be so willing to share.

Young drives past Williston defender. (Trey Johnson/Quiet Kid Media)

Young just wants her teammates to succeed. She aims to take her team to the state final four before she graduates. However, she knows she must continue to encourage her less experienced teammates.


“We’re really the same age,” she said. “But I tell them to just try and have confidence. You can’t do nothing while you’re scared.”


Eighth-grader guard Jada Adderly looks up to Young.


“She really taught me that anything is possible,” Adderly said. “While being young, you can still play at your highest potential.