Former Alaska and San Miguel import Galen Young died Sunday morning (Saturday US time) following a freak accident at his mother's house in Horn Lake Road, Memphis.
The Daily Memphian, a local news outlet in Memphis, reported that Young died after a vehicle crashed into the house. The former Charlotte 49er forward was 45 years old.
Alaska coach Jeffrey Cariaso, who played with Young during the American import's first PBA stint in the 2004 Fiesta Conference, described the former Milwaukee Bucks second round draft choice in 1999 as a "warrior on the court."
"This breaks my heart. Galen was one of my favorite imports to play with. Not only was he a warrior on the court, he was an even better friend off it. Prayers for his family during this tough time. Rest well in heaven my friend," Cariaso tweeted on his official Instagram account @thejet_22 upon learning of the news.
Young played two years for University of North Carolina-Charlotte 49ers and was First Team All-Conference USA in 1999. He was selected 48th overall by the Bucks but didn't make the roster. Although Young failed to make it to the NBA, the American forward had a journeyman pro basketball career that saw him play in Japan, Venezuela, Spain, Australia, the Philippines and New Zealand.
The 49ers Basketball family mourns the loss of former standout Galen Young. Young played for the 49ers from 1997-99 and was 1999 C-USA Tournament MVP. Our thoughts and prayers are with Galen's family at this difficult time.— Charlotte Men's Basketball (@CharlotteMBB) June 5, 2021
Rest In Peace, Galen. pic.twitter.com/57c5sVUUel
Young eventually found his way to the PBA where he first saw action for the Aces in the 2004 Fiesta Conference.
The 6-foot-5 Young made a return trip to the PBA in the 2007 Fiesta Conference where he played for the San Miguel Beermen. Young faced his former team Alaska after leading SMB to the semis where the Beermen eventually lost in the seven-game series, 4-2. Alaska went on to win the title that conference.
Young's last PBA stint came in the same import-reinforced conference in 2009.
"My fondest memory of Galen was how quick he adapted to our culture. He was one of those guys who just gets it in regard to surviving and doing well in the PBA," said Cariaso.
"He had a great attitude in life. When it came to the court, he was a competitor. No question he showed up each and every day."
The NBL is saddened to hear of the passing of former @PerthWildcats and Townsville Crocodiles player Galen Young.— The NBL (@NBL) June 5, 2021
Young played 48 games in the NBL, winning a championship with the Wildcats in 2010.
Our thoughts are with those who were close to him. pic.twitter.com/9QK1717bb1
Young had a decorated pro basketball career that saw him win a championship with the Yakima Sun Kings in the Continental Basketball Association in 2007, while earning CBA Player of the Year honors. He also won another championship with the Perth Wildcats in the NBL in Australia.
After retirement, Young got into coaching and served as an assistant at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee from 2016 to 2020.