First off I would like to thank Taylor for doing this interview.
If you aren’t familiar with the basketball team, she redshirted in 2010-11 and then played one full season for the black and gold last year. She averaged over 12 points, 4 assists and 2 steals per game including a career high of 28 points vs. Lipscomb.
In early September we broke the story that she would not be playing for Kennesaw State this year, but we didn’t know why, and now Taylor gets to tell her story in her own words.
You had a lot of success at Kennesaw State, which begs me to ask, why are you transferring?
At the time of my decision, it wasn’t based on transferring, it was just based on doing what was best for me. At that point I was really spread thin, I’m pre-med and I was really stressed. It was a combination of how the workouts were set-up, how my classes were set-up and we had recruits coming in every weekend and I was just spread really thin and I wasn’t in a good place. At the time I didn’t plan on transferring, I just wanted to see what happened and then it just worked out.
Did the new coaching staff have anything to do with it?
Not them personally, we didn’t have any issues and I hope they’re very successful here. Maybe some of their styles, like the times and how my schedule was. We would do something at one time and then do something late at night too. It was really stressful and I was physically sick. Like I said, I wasn’t in a good place and it wasn’t anything against any of the coaches.
Did the proximity to your home in Tennessee have anything to do with your decision?
Yeah, going back to Tennessee and Nashville is really exciting for me. I love it up there. A lot of my friends and family are going to get to watch me when I do get to play.
Upon arriving at Belmont you will have had four coaches in under four years, what effect does it have on you as a player?
I think it teaches you to adapt, because in life that’s how it goes. Things change and that’s a characteristic you want to have, to be able to adapt to change and make a smooth transition and be able to relate to more people and learn from more people.
Was it a hard choice to leave?
Yeah it was, it was really difficult to think that I quit. It was hard for me to accept that that’s what I was going to do. I didn’t really talk about it with the team or the coaches and I knew it came as a shock. I feel like that was the most fair thing to do, like if my heart wasn’t completely in it or if it wasn’t the best situation for me to let them know beforehand rather than letting things get worse for me down the line and quitting in November. I feel like that gives them more time to prepare and that it was the best decision.
What do you think you can take from your time at KSU?
There’s been a lot of ups and downs for me here personally. Obviously moving away from home helped me grow as a person. You know I’ve met a lot of great people who have influenced me. Vaughn’s (Williams) awesome, Coach Perry is one of the most driven people ever, Coach Tilley, Coach Tingley, Coach Wilhoit when she was here. There are just so many I can name who have influenced me so positively. I’m just grateful for my opportunity to be here for two and a half years.
How do you think you’re a better player now than you were at this time last season?
I honestly didn’t feel like I was getting that much better when I did quit because I wasn’t able to give it my all. I was really fatigued, stressed or sick and I had a combination of things going on and that’s when I felt like I really needed to make a change. I started playing basketball when I was five, so this is the first time October and November have rolled around and I’m not out there. It really makes me appreciate it and makes me not want to take it for granted, and that’s something that really helped me when I stepped back and I realized I wanted to play somewhere because ten years from now I’ll be wishing I did.
When can we see you on the court again?
Right now the plan is next December (2013), when final grades come out. We will actually be heading to Hawaii for a tournament so that’ll be a nice little debut for me I think. I will get to play the conference schedule of next year and then the next full year after that. So it’s basically like two full years.
You played a bit out of position last year, have you talked to the coaches at Belmont about how you’re going to fit in?
The thing I love about Belmont is that they all shoot the ball. I feel like I might be able to fit in at point guard or shooting guard. You’re right that I did play out of position some (at Kennesaw) but when I came to college I never pictured that I would be a scoring guard, ever. I always felt that I was a point guard, I was a distributor and if I had an open shot, hitting it was icing on the cake. I kind of felt like I was put into that role and I wasn’t really sure how to handle it. That was different for me, it was definitely different but I have no problem playing either guard spot or whatever they want me to do.
Do you have a final message for the KSU faithful?
I am so thankful for my time here, and I am so thankful for all the fans. I can’t tell you all the times I’ve felt so blessed, when you know a kid comes up to me and says that I’m their favorite player or a little girl comes up to me in the mall and asks me to sign something. That’s the reason I want to keep playing, because it’s times like that when I feel like I might be able to affect people and I’m just so thankful.Follow @KSUOwlHowl