Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stevie Taylor- Playing for His Pop

Freshmen do not always garner national spotlight, but Stevie Taylor is not your average ninth grader. The 5'8 guard from Ohio Basketball Club is regarded as one of the top players in the class of 2011 in America. Despite Taylor's height, he can flat-out play basketball. Ohio Basketball Club, which is led by Taylor and 6'10 Zach Price, took the U-15 title at the Pitt Jam Fest. After Taylor's team throttled Indiana Elite in pool play, I took a few minutes to catch up with the star freshman.

NB: Playing AAU basketball in front of all those [college] coaches out there, what’s that like for you?
ST: Well, it’s really an adrenaline rush because you [would] never think that all these college coaches [would] come out to watch you, so you always want to put on your best [game], so you got to bring it, every game you come out and play.

NB: What does it mean to you to have so many big names out there? You got a coach from Ohio St. [and one from] Michigan St. looking at you. What does it feel like to be playing and know that they are there watching you?
ST: Well, it makes [me] feel like I got to bring my A game, and hopefully . . . when I leave the gym . . . I feel like I played my best ball.

NB: Do you think you played your best ball today?
ST: Yes sir.

NB: It looked like you were limping a little bit out there. Do you . . . have an ankle injury?
ST: Yeah because when I was over in Italy, I hurt my leg, and that’s why it’s been hurting, and then I got kneed on that last play, so it kind of hurt a little bit, but I fought through it.

NB: For your team with Ohio Basketball Club, you’re playing for your father [Rob Taylor], and what’s the like for you? What’s the experience like of playing for your father?
ST: Well, I’ve been playing for my father ever since I was a little kid, so I’m kind of used to it now. He yells at me, but I take it all in and use it . . . the best I can.

NB: Do you think it works better to be able to live with you coach as well as play for him, and not just see him twice a week?
ST: Yeah, it’s much easier because we work out everyday, so he’s yelling at me constantly.

NB: Do you have any offers at this current point?
ST: Yeah, I have [an offer from] Akron.

NB: And what other schools are currently showing interest in you?
ST: Tennessee, Georgetown, Cincinnati, Ohio St., and that’s it.

NB: Is there a dream school that you’ve always wanted to go to?
ST: Louisville, Louisville.

NB: Why Louisville?
ST: Well, because my family’s from there, I know everybody from there, and I like their style of play.

NB: So, if they were to offer you, would that be something that you would just take on that spot?
ST: Yes, . . . I’d commit like that.

Taylor's routine of playing basketball for his dad certainly seems to be working. Stevie is a high-caliber player, with nice moves, and solid floor-leading ability. Although he may be a bit too fancy at times, Taylor can certainly hoop it up. Stevie and Rob Taylor, along with the rest of the current U-15 OBC squad, have a bright future, as the father and son will work to keep the team in spotlight. With Stevie's talents, they might not have to work all that hard.

Note- photo is from

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