Saturday, December 19, 2009

Introducing Taylor Hilton

You hear the word "focus" if you hang around college basketball long enough -- players and coaches seem to always be looking for it or talking about the lack of it -- but what you don't hear is overfocused. Unless, of course, you're chatting with William and Mary coach Debbie Taylor about freshman Taylor Hilton.

"She has no idea how good she is. She doesn't accept she's got really good guard skills. You have to badger her into shooting 3s. If there ever was an overfocused child, it's her. She does everything I tell her to do, and more. She's a delight to coach."

And also a pretty intelligent kid as we found out by spending a few minutes with the 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year for Washington, D.C, who is averaging 6.8 points and 5 rebounds and shooting 67 percent from behind the arc (OK. She's only taken three shots and made two of them, but we see what Taylor means about being shy to shoot the 3.)

Let's get this out of the way. You're high school......

Sidwell Friends. It's often called the Obama school. It's definitely gotten more attention since the Obama girls started going there.

You chose W&M over Boston College, Harvard and Delaware because?
"It was the perfect school I was looking for basketball-wise and academically. I was looking for a strong school for academics that had a good basketball program. I really got along with the girls on my visit, and I loved the coaches."

Speaking of academics, what's your toughest class?
Econ-micro. Supply and demand. I wish it were that simple.

Rag out your teammates a little here. Who's the funniest?
"Probably Emily Correal. She is hilarious. Very goofy. In the locker room we can be getting ready for a game and she'll spontaneously get on the floor and do some kind of funny dance stretch. She's 6-2, so it looks pretty funny. Then she just sits back down on her chair like nothing happened."

We think Debbie Taylor is the coolest coach in the CAA. What's the Debbie-ism about her that stands out?
"When she brings out that New York accent -- definitely."
(We've heard that, too. Funny thing is Debbie is from Fredericksburg.)

So after having scored more than 1,600 points in your high school career and averaging 23 points and 18 rebounds as a senior, anything stand out about the college game?
"I didn't know there were media timeouts. That's pretty cool -- breaks every four minutes. We didn't have those in high school."

How's the travel been so far?
"Seattle was interesting. It's one of the strangest most entertaining places I've been to. We had interesting runs with people on the street all the time. We kept seeing a homeless man selling kisses. He didn't get any business from our team."

You like reading?
"I love the 'Twilight' series. My best friend got me hooked.

You look like you're in great shape. Any secret indulgences?
"Chocolate fudge grown ice cream. They sell it in pints across the street from my dorm."

Other profiles in our ladyswish newcomer series:

Abby Redick, Virginia Tech

Simone Egwu, Virginia

Devon Brown, Liberty

Tia Lewis, ODU

Kquanise Byrd, ODU

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