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Bradley basketball star takes on ‘The Bachelor’

Alumna Michelle Young is a final-four contestant on this season’s The Bachelor. Right photo via Scout archives.



Last Monday night, Michelle Young dribbled her way into America’s heart on her hometown date. However, Young’s charm and basketball skills are nothing new to the Hilltop.

Young’s Bradley basketball career started in the fall of 2011. Her various accolades include winning the MVC Leadership and Service Award in 2013 and the MVC Presidents Council Academic Award in 2015, being named MVC Scholar Athlete of the week twice during her career and achieving the honor roll for all eight semesters that she attended Bradley, amongst other accomplishments.

Young arrived later than the other contestants on this season of “The Bachelor,” but she fostered a strong relationship with Matt James almost immediately. 

Her presence caused quite a bit of concern amongst the other women when Young received a one-on-one date as soon as she appeared. Her competitive spirit shone through as she frequently tried to make up for lost time. However, she was never confrontational with other contestants. 

It may have taken her a while to get into the swing of things on her first group date, but Young’s charm undeniably pulled through, earning her a place in the final four contestants. 

Though hometown dates are usually held in the neighborhood of the contestants, the show modified the episode in order to accommodate for COVID-19 regulations. Instead of traveling home with Young to Minnesota, James met her parents, LaVonne and Ephraim Young, on set. Her former fifth-grade students also introduced themselves to Matt over Zoom.

James was asked several hard-hitting questions and shared an emotional moment with the pair. However, James’ biggest critics were Young’s students.

Some of the questions posed included: “Is that your boyfriend?” “Have you guys kissed yet?” “Are you going to give Miss Young a rose?” 

One girl read a note of encouragement that Young had written for her before a test, stating that it inspires her every day and asking James, “So how will you inspire Miss Young?”

Overall, the experience was quite heartwarming. 

Bradley basketball fans and “Bachelor” viewers alike are rooting for Young as she enters the final rounds. 

Regardless of the results of this season, Young has represented herself and her alma mater superbly. Whether she chooses to pursue the spoils of her newfound fame or remains content with her life as a teacher, we wish her all the best.

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