Niagara sews up Taylor
The local content on the Niagara College Knights women’s basketball team continues to grow.
The latest to sign on the dotted line is talented A.N. Myer player Molly Taylor, who committed to Niagara a few weeks ago prior to heading out on a grad trip to Cuba. The 17-year-old Niagara Falls resident joins a 2021 Knights’ recruiting class that includes E.L. Crossley’s Sydney Grummett, Notre Dame’s Jamira Rousseau and Denis Morris’ Lexxus Bell.
“It was exciting and nice because I get along with all the coaches and all my family and friends were there to support me,” Taylor said. “It was a really good feeling because all of the hard work had paid off.”
The Grade 12 student at A.N. Myer Secondary School had interest from a number of other post-secondary institutions but Niagara was the right for her.
“I liked the nursing program they have a Niagara, I really like coach (Chris) Rao and he was great to talk to,” she said. “And I went to a few practices and I jelled with the team.
It ultimately came down to Niagara and one other school.
“I was definitely stressed out because both of my choices were extremely different,” the 5-foot-11 forward said. “One is far away and a whole new start and Niagara College is very comfortable and it felt normal.”
Her choice of Niagara was also aided by the fact that long-time teammate Grummett had also committed to the school. The pair won a Basketball Ontario Division 1 championship with the Niagara Rangers in Grade 8 and moved on to become teammates with Niagara Juel Prep and Niagara Juel.
“That was a really big thing that also pushed me to go there,” Taylor said. “I was excited because I know that Syd and I work really well together.”
Rao is excited to land Taylor.
“She is a great person and committed student. Molly is a very skilled player with good size and length and will add lots of versatility to our program moving forward,” he said. “Molly has had a very accomplished season so far as a high school Zone 3 top 10 all-star while playing for Paul Grummett at A.N. Myer and is having a good season for a very competitive Niagara Juel team under Frank Keltos.”
It’s just one more piece to a talented squad.
“Adding local, committed talent like this is huge for our program now and moving forward and I’m really excited to get working with Molly as she develops and continually improves,” Rao said.
Taylor knows she has stuff to work on as she prepares for her first season of college hoops.
“I want to get better at ball handing and not be limited to being a post player,” she said. “I want to be a player that can do both. I think that would be helpful.”
Those improvements will be a nice compliment to the strides she has taken in her game the past few years.
“The biggest difference in my game is that I am more confident when I am playing and I have taken more of a leadership role on the court,” she said. “I go to the net more, I want to take the ball up and score and I am more confident with the ball.”
Throughout her years of training, she has developed a love for basketball.
“It’s a team game, but it gives every player and opportunity to be a star on each possession,” she said. “We all work together the whole game but each player gets a chance to show what they can do.”
Prior to the shutdown because of COVID-19, Taylor had started to train and scrimmage at Niagara. Unfortunately, the Niagara Juel season has been cancelled.
“I am devastated,” Taylor said.
She has tried to cope with the situation as much as possible.
“I talk to the girls every night and I play basketball in my driveway every day. I am just waiting for it to come back.”
Coverage of the Niagara Knights is made possible with the support of the Niagara College Department of Athletics & Recreation. For more information, please visit www.goknights.ca