Off the court with captain Amy Taylor

Growing up in a household of three brothers, Amy Taylor was destined to become an athlete. Sandwiched between one older brother and two younger ones, Amy has been surrounded by the fascination and obsession that comprises the world of sports.

From early on in her tomboyish childhood, Taylor recalls playing sports with her siblings and even participating on some of the same teams as her older brother. Whether it was basketball, track, softball or volleyball (all of which she lettered in during high school), Taylor just loved to play sports.

But it was basketball that really affixed itself to Taylor’s interest. With her dad as a coach and her brothers as practice partners, Taylor set out on a journey that has led her to her senior season at SPU where she has led the team to a 7-0 conference record and a 15-1 overall record.

"In sixth grade I made a goal for myself to get a college scholarship," Taylor said.

The path to a basketball scholarship started during eighth grade when Taylor played for Cedar Park Christian High School. Throughout her three years at Cedar Park Christian, Taylor averaged close to 20 points a game.

However, as a junior, Amy wanted to face some tougher competition, so she enrolled at Shorewood High School. Over the course of the next two years, Taylor would average 20 points and five assists a game, be named to the all-Wesco team twice and receive a spot on the Emerald City all-star team as a senior.

Her goal would be accomplished when she received a scholarship to play for the University of Oregon. During her freshman campaign, Taylor played in 19 games and her team finished up by winning the women’s NIT championship.

As a sophomore, Taylor played a much larger role, averaging 4 points in 24 games and being named the team’s most improved player.

After her sophomore season, Taylor’s journey would begin to take a turn when she attended a Seattle Pacific women’s basketball game with her dad. Taylor was very impressed by the division II school and really enjoyed the fast pace of the game.

"I love to run the ball," Taylor pointed out.

At Oregon, the style of play was much slower and players were told to play half-court basketball. SPU really likes to push the ball and treat the game more like a track meet.

After talking to her parents and being affirmed by her support group, Taylor elected to pack her bags and move back to the Evergreen state to play for the Falcons.

In her almost two-year stint with the team, Taylor has helped lead the Falcons to new heights. Last year the women won their region and advanced to the Elite Eight tournament.

This year, as a senior and as a captain, Taylor is once again leading the charge toward a possible national championship. The Falcons are currently ranked second in the nation and have run their league unbeaten streak to 49 consecutive games after a win last week at Central Washington University (CWU).

"I go into every game trying to do something to help our team win," Taylor said. She most certainly lives up to her philosophy as she leads the team in assists and steals, and is second in scoring, just behind Mandy Wood.

"Anybody on our team can step up on any given night," said Taylor.

The way that the season is going for SPU, multiple people have been stepping up night in and night out. Against CWU, 10 players scored, Taylor led the team in assists, Wood led the team in scoring and freshman Quinn Brewe pulled down the most rebounds.

Having her family in the stands every night has really helped Taylor adjust to a new environment. They have supported her in all of her decisions and continue to be her biggest fans in the stands.

"I could not have done anything without my family," the senior captain said. "I feel so loved."

As for her current goals, Taylor would love to beat Western Washington University this Thursday. Western is tied for first place with the Falcons in league and they are ranked 24th in the country. Needless to say, Taylor and her teammates are ready to step up to the challenge.

Looking further ahead, Taylor hopes to advance past the Elite Eight and into the national championship game this March. It is a tall order, but one that can be realized with hard work, determination and a will to win. All of these things are in the hearts of Taylor and her teammates.

At the end of the day, Taylor gives all the credit where it is due.

"God has really blessed me with a great family and great friends."

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Title: Off the court with captain Amy Taylor | Author: Grant Ludwick | Section: Sports | Published Date: 2005-01-26 | Internal ID: 4303