Graduate Student Makes Waves in Broadcasting

Isis Young, FCRH 20, is an emerging talent in the next wave of college sports broadcasters. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Isis Young, FCRH ’20, is an emerging talent in the next wave of college sports broadcasters. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Despite sustaining an injury which sidelined her for the entire women’s 2019-20 basketball season, Isis Young, FCRH ’20, is finding success off the hardwood court and in the broadcasting booth.

Love and Basketball came together for Young when she was seven years old playing in all-girl recreation league games. When asked about those early memories, the Fordham women’s basketball guard said, “I loved the game right away. I was naturally gifted and both of my parents played in high school so I learned from both of them. I think the pure joy of playing resonates with me back then.”

Her naturally gifted talent in hoops ultimately led her to become a four-star high school recruit after finishing with over 1,000 points at Trenton Catholic in New Jersey before transferring to Life Center Academy. Young’s stellar guard play was also nationally recognized when ESPNW ranked her 59th in its Class of 2014. She would begin her college playing career at the University of Florida, spending two years there with one medical redshirt season.

However, after deciding the system at Florida was no longer the ideal fit, Young decided to transfer. She took her talents back to the Northeast and joined the University of Syracuse’s women’s basketball team. But, she would also be introduced to one of the country’s best communications programs in the S.I. Newhouse School, whose notable alumni in sports broadcasting include NBC’s Bob Costas and ESPN’s Beth Mowins.

Initially, Young was hesitant to enter the broadcasting world, unsure if it was exactly what she wanted to pursue outside of basketball. While redshirting at the end of her junior year, Young decided to create a show on YouTube called “The Ice Box” where she interviewed Syracuse student-athletes on campus. Young was instantly hooked after her debut episode, saying, “After filming that first show, I fell in love. I just loved learning about broadcasting, love being on the camera and I decided that’s what I wanted to have a career in.”

In her time at Syracuse, Young worked for the Orange Television Network and ACC Network as a studio host and analyst for multiple sports, including basketball and soccer. She would even have a featured video package aired during a halftime show of a men’s basketball ACC Network broadcast. Young credited the success at Syracuse to the great experiences she was able to enjoy while adding it also provided a chance to “create a professional reel to get work.”

Granted a sixth year of eligibility to play college basketball, Young took the opportunity to come to Fordham, joining her long-time friend and current A-10 women’s basketball Player of the Year Bre Cavanaugh, FCRH ’21. After an initial meeting with head coach Stephanie Gaitley, Young was excited to finish her collegiate career with the Rams.

Unfortunately, Young would suffer an ACL tear prior to this season, prematurely ending what was expected to be an auspicious year on the court. Although devastated that the injury prevented her family and friends from watching her play ball, Young did not take much time to dwell on the sadness. Instead, she decided to make a list on how she could maximize her time off the court through broadcasting.

In just one year here at Rose Hill, Young has been to broadcast both Fordham men’s and women’s basketball games on ESPN+, as well as with WFUV 90.7 FM on campus. When thinking back on her time here, Young is satisfied with her commitment to staying on the initial path she laid out. “The only thing I learned from this experience is what I knew already: God has a plan for me. It may not go my way, but I have to trust what happens, continue to be resilient through whatever challenges I face, and be grateful for where I am at the moment.”

Her favorite broadcast to date happened back in January, where Young was part of an all female broadcast crew on the ACC Network alongside the aforementioned Beth Mowins, something that had never been done on the network. When asked if the continued success of women in sports broadcasting motivates her to blaze a trail of her own, Young said, “Of course it does. They allow young women like me to dream of being on the biggest stages because they made it possible.”

As for what’s next for Young? She is still going back and forth on whether to play basketball or to go straight into broadcasting full-time. In the next few years, Young hopes to play professional basketball overseas while working ESPN broadcasts in her spare time. Having had the pleasure of working alongside her at WFUV, there is no doubt Young’s talent is limitless in her pursuit to be one of the best in the next wave of sports broadcasters.