Portland Drafts Former
Indian Mike Taylor
June 26, 2008
With the 55th pick of the
2008 NBA Draft, the Portland Trailblazers selects Mike Taylor…
Those were the words spoken by tonight inside Madison Square Garden in New
York City as the former Chipola Indian was introduced to the NBA world.
Mike Taylor’s basketball journey since
high school has sometimes been a roller coaster ride to say the least.
After joining Chipola College in the fall of 2004, Taylor would spend
the next two years of his life focused on improving his basketball
skills and doing what it took to help his team succeed. During his two
year span in Marianna, Taylor helped lead the Indians to two Panhandle
Conference Championships, a Region VIII Championship, and NJCAA National
Tournament Final Four Appearance, while compiling a 62-8 record.
During Taylor’s time at Chipola, many
Indian fans remember his emotional performance during the 2005 Region
VIII Championship game against Tallahassee. Although the Indians lost
by 2 points in triple overtime, Taylor will be forever remembered for
his performance that night as he knocked down 7 consecutive 3-pointers
during a stretch run in the second half.
Chipola Coach Greg Heiar commented, “I
am extremely proud of Mike Taylor and tonight is the combination of many
years of hard work and refocusing his life. It is exciting to see Mike
succeed in life and the entire Chipola community wishes him all the
Upon graduating from Chipola, Taylor
accepted a scholarship offer from Iowa State University. Taylor’s
junior year as a Cyclone would prove to be his last as personal issues
caused him to withdraw from ISU.
After spending time away from
basketball, Taylor sought his true-love again. This time he would
follow her to Boise, Idaho and an opportunity to play for the Idaho
Stampede, a NBA Developmental League team. With affiliates involving
both the Raptors of Toronto and Portland Trailblazers, Taylor was
exposed to a new life. Mike-T played 39 games for the Stampede
averaging 14.5 ppg, 4.3 apg, and shooting a blistering 48% from the
field. But one of the most memorable moments for Taylor is scoring 27
points in only 28 minutes of play during the NBA-D Championship game.
His leading score helped the Stampede win the D-League Championship and
set the ball rolling towards the NBA.
When asked about his road through the
NBDL and becoming the first NBDL player to enter the Draft, Taylor said,
“I ran a pro offense for six months which is an advantage I have over
college point guards. Another advantage I have over college point
guards is my mental approach and experience as a professional. I
participated in our team’s “Read to Achieve” program at numerous
elementary schools so I have experience with the professional scene.”
this professional approach that Taylor looks to bring to his new team.
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