Tyrone Taylor: Taking a Different Route to Success

Tyrone Taylor is coming off his greatest basketball season yet after finishing his senior season at Grandview High School in Grandview, Missouri.

“Last season was great,” Taylor said in a phone interview last Thursday. “We went 26-4 and were undefeated in Missouri. It was the best season I have had so far. I was named conference player of the year for the second year in a row. I was nominated for best player in the city and for Gatorade National Player of the Year.”

In addition to these accolades, Taylor also broke records that his good friend and now-Utah Jazz star, Alec Burks, set. Burks also attended Grandview High and graduated in 2009.

“I won the conference scoring title, and broke Alec Burks’ points, assists, steals and three-point records,” Taylor said.

However, Instead of committing to a college straight out of high school, Taylor decided to take a different route, going to a prep school.

“After talking to Texas’ coach was the first time I considered going to a prep school,” Taylor said. “They discussed with me the possibility of going to prep school for a year, and then I would have a better chance of receiving a scholarship at a bigger school.”

Taylor decided to play for Hargrave Military Academy this upcoming winter, a prep school located in Chatham, Virginia. The rich history and alumni of the program made a huge impact on his decision.

“The alumni definitely effected my decision to come to Hargrave,” Taylor said. “I had never heard of the place before I started considering prep school. When I tell people the players that have come out of there, they are impressed. It is a basketball factory and they produce good players.”

Taylor said Hargrave’s history of producing successful players at high levels has given him confidence the school will prepare him for his future basketball career.

 

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Photo courtesy of Tyrone Taylor

 

“I feel that it will be my fault if I don’t come out of there as a better player,” Taylor said. “There are guys around my height and size that have come out of there, and they have been successful. I feel that if they are the same size as me, then I can be at a big name school, too.”

David West, Josh Howard, P.J. Hairston and Jordan Crawford are just four of the nine players who are playing in the NBA who attended Hargrave Military Academy. Other well-known college stars such as Luke Hancock, Lorenzo Brown and Dez Wells attended Hargrave as well. Taylor knows attending a military school will be different, however, he is hopeful that it will develop his skills and put him in a better situation when deciding on a college.

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“I want to become a better player physically and mentally,” he said. “I want to make a big impact in college. Even if I don’t end up at my top choice, I will end up in a better situation by going to prep school.”

Taylor has received interest from multiple schools, but said the ones that jumped out to him the most were Texas, Wichita State, Kansas State, Minnesota and Maryland.

“I want to go to a winning program that has a family atmosphere and the players and coaches get along,” Taylor said. “I want to be on the same page as my coach. I want him to see the potential in me, so I can develop my game and become the best player possible.”

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Taylor is 6’3” and 170 pounds, meaning his small frame may lead programs to see him as only a point guard. Taylor, however, said he sees himself as more of a combo guard due to his scoring ability.

“I feel I am more successful at point guard than shooting guard,” he said. “However, I am a combo guard. I will be playing the point at Hargrave, but people tag me as a shooting guard because of the way I score. I am underweight, and playing point guard I have to get bigger.”

He listed NFL quarterback Josh Freeman, who was coached by Taylor’s father, and Alec Burks as his role models. Taylor said he still stays in touch with Burks and Burks has convinced him to believe he can reach the NBA, too.

“The biggest influence I have is Alec Burks,” Taylor said. “Seeing Alec make it to the pros in basketball makes me feel like I have a real chance, and it is more than just a dream of mine. I have always wanted to outdo him, and I feel like I have outdone him so far. I want to keep outdoing him.”

Taylor said he would ideally like to make his decision towards the beginning of the winter, however, he is not creating a timetable for his decision yet.

-Kyle Melnick

@kyle_melnick

Kyle Melnick
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Kyle Melnick

Columnist at The Left Bench
Kyle is a freshman journalism major at the University of Maryland. While contributing to The Left Bench, Kyle also serves as a staff writer for The Diamondback, where he covers the Terps tennis team. He's a D.C. sports fan and is in the process of memorizing RGIII's entire 2012 highlight reel.
Kyle Melnick
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About Kyle Melnick 15 Articles
Kyle is a freshman journalism major at the University of Maryland. While contributing to The Left Bench, Kyle also serves as a staff writer for The Diamondback, where he covers the Terps tennis team. He's a D.C. sports fan and is in the process of memorizing RGIII's entire 2012 highlight reel.