Taylor gives friends, family 138 reasons to smile
Jack Taylor's parents and girlfriend traveled more than four hours Tuesday to see him play his first basketball home game with his new team: Grinnell College. Little did they know, there were going to see him shatter a long-standing NCAA record.
"I know that he's that great of a basketball player but I've never seen a performance (like) he put on last night. To score 138 points, I'm in utter amazement," said Christina Teeples, Taylor's girlfriend. The two started dating five years ago while attending Black River Falls High School.
Taylor broke the previous single game record of 113 points last night while leading Grinnell to a victory at home over Faith Baptist Bible. Grinnell is a division 3 college located in central Iowa.
The plan going into the game was to get Taylor lots of extra shots since he had been struggling. Once he kept making them, it then became a run at history.
"I came into the locker room at halftime and they said I had 58 points and I was kind of shocked by that," said Taylor.
"I didn't know that I had that many and all my teammates were so ecstatic for me and unselfish and said we're going to give you the ball every time down the court if you are shooting like this," he added.
"He's the hardest (working) basketball player I've ever seen. He works at it day and night, 24/7. He lives and breathes it," said Teeples.
Teeples makes it to as many of Taylor's basketball games as she can. She could have never guessed she would witness basketball history on Tuesday night.
"(The record) was getting closer and closer and everyone was kind of anticipating that moment and then once it (happened) everyone kind of went wild and he got some handshakes from his teammates and coaches," said Teeples.
"Then kept going after that," she laughed.
After graduating from Black River Falls in 2009, Taylor spent 1 year at a prep school in Pennsylvania. He eventually landed on the UW-La Crosse basketball team but his former high school coach says Taylor didn't see much playing time and decided to transfer to Grinnell with its run and gun offense.
"That coach told him when he decided he was going to Grinnell, he said there's probably going to be some opportunities for us to go after some NCAAA records with you," said Brian Jensen, Taylor's former coach at Black River Falls.
"I don't think anyone had any idea that it would happen this soon and it would be this amazing," he added.
"We're all very excited for him, proud of him, love him so much. I wouldn't know anyone else who deserves it more than him," said Teeples.
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