Princeton honors Olympic gold medalist Jackie Young in celebration parade
PRINCETON, Ind. (WFIE) - The city of Princeton held a celebration parade on Saturday to recognize Jackie Young, who made history earlier this week as a member of the U.S. Olympic 3x3 women’s basketball team that won the first-ever gold medal in the sport’s inaugural debut.
Young’s fans didn’t let the weather rain on their parade as they showed out to welcome their hometown Olympian.
The entire city was lined with red, white and blue, awaiting the gold medalist’s arrival.
“They’re the best fans I could have,” Jackie Young said. “My hometown does a great job supporting me, I’m just super thankful for that.”
Young flew back from Tokyo and landed in Evansville on Friday, as family and friends surprised her at the airport with a warm homecoming.
On Saturday, the Princeton community lined up Broadway Street with signs, banners and flags.
One of the most special people to make an appearance at the parade was Rylee Page, who played with Young at Princeton High School.
Page couldn’t help but get a little emotional when talking about her former teammate’s recent accomplishment.
“No one deserves this more than Jackie,” Page said. “She just works harder than anyone I know in anything anyone does probably. So and just how humble she stays through everything, and it’s just there’s no one better. On and off the court.”
Fitting to Young’s giving nature, festivities continued over at Princeton’s annual “Backpack Bash,” which she sponsored this year.
One of the organizers of the event, head committee member Jess Denbo, says Young’s contributions truly did make a difference.
“She is a hero,” Denbo said. “She’s a hero to all these kids. If you saw the smile on these kids faces today that got these Puma backpacks, that’s what gets me. I presented her with an award from the city, a little plaque, and it brings tears to my eyes because as an adult, to see the smile on these kids faces, and then also to just feel the pride.”
On and off the court, the Princeton High School product has proven to be a hero for her hometown family, and they couldn’t be happier to welcome her home.
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