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Published: Tuesday, 4/13/2010

St. John's grad Taylor waiting for a chance in D-1


Michael Taylor hasn't given up on his dream of playing Division I college basketball.

The West Toledo native and St. John's Jesuit graduate recently completed his first season out of high school playing for Ocean Academy, a prep school team in West Deal, N.J., and is enrolled at Glen Oaks Community College in Centreville, Mich., while he awaits potential interest from college coaches.

Taylor, the 2008-09 City League player of the year, scored 1,137 points in his four years with the Titans, putting him among the top 10 leading scorers in school history.

He averaged 15.4 points per game as a senior while leading St. John's to the state semifinals, but the Division I scholarship offers never materialized for the 6-foot-2 guard.

"My goal has always been to end up at a D-I college and play basketball there," said Taylor, who is rooming with former St. John's teammate Tim Simmons at Glen Oaks and will join him on the basketball team there next season if he's still not signed to play elsewhere.

"I really don't know why I haven't gotten [an offer] yet, but until I do, I'm just going to keep working hard and get good grades in school," Taylor said.

Taylor has received passing interest from a few Division I programs over the last two years, most recently Iona, but no offers have come.

While Taylor was home on break this past season, former University of Toledo coach Gene Cross invited him to attend one of the team's practices, but nothing came of that either.

"[Cross] told Mike he was going to call him back after he talked with the other coaches about bringing him on, and he never called him back," Michael Taylor, Sr., said.

"So Mike called him back instead, but he told him he was busy and to call him back the next day. So Mike called again the next day, and he said he hadn't had a chance to talk to the other coaches yet. So Mike called a third time a few days later, and he didn't answered his phone. So Mike just stopped calling after that."

Cross has since resigned, and new coach Tod Kowalczyk is not allowed to talk about potential recruits, per NCAA rules.

Nevertheless, if Taylor had his choice of playing for any college basketball team, he'd still pick his hometown Rockets. After all, his family lives a stone's throw from the university.

"I would love to go to UT," Taylor said. "I'd love to be there and be playing for them."

At this point, however, Taylor is just hoping a college coach eventually decides to take a chance on him.

Yet through it all, he's been able to take the experience in stride.

"I mean, at times it can be stressful," Taylor said. "But I know at the end, hopefully everything will pay off and I can get where I want to be. I guess sometimes you just have to be patient and wait for what you want."

Contact Zach Silka

at: zsilka@theblade.com,

or 419-724-6084.

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