GVSU’s Taylor does it all
In her four years of playing for the Grand Valley State University women’s basketball team, senior Briauna Taylor has shown there’s not much she’s not capable of.
Taylor currently leads the Lakers in scoring (15.9 per game), rebounding (6.9 per game), assists (2.8 per game) and steals (2.1 per game).
She is also a member of the 1,000 point club at GVSU and currently sits at No. 10 on the GVSU women’s career scoring list with 1,295 points.
“She’s developed into a young lady that has really worked her tail off and is really doing everything that our program expects,” said head coach Janel Burgess.
In addition to her stellar accomplishments in basketball, Taylor also excels for the GVSU women’s softball team. In her two years playing for the team, she has a career .408 batting average, hit 19 home runs, and has 91 RBI’s. In 2012, Taylor was also named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Midwest Region First Team.
If you have been to one of the Lakers basketball games, it’s easy to notice the type of floor leader Taylor is. She is constantly taking charge, instructing her fellow teammates and ultimately sets the tone for her team in each game. However, if you ask her and her teammates, that’s not always how it used to be.
“My freshman year, she was quiet and didn’t talk much,” said senior Alex Stelfox. “Now it’s just the complete opposite. She has taken all of her weaknesses and continued to work on them.
I think now she’s considered one of the best players in the GLIAC.”
It takes a special athlete to have the ability to talk to a teammate in a constructive way without being negative. For her teammates, it’s like having a coach with them on the court at all times.
“She knows how to talk to her players because she knows her players very well,” Stelfox said. “She knows their strengths and their weaknesses. She can give criticism the right way and they listen to her. You can’t say a lot of people listen to their teammates that well, but everyone respects her and listens to her.”
As with most players, her career wasn’t a walk in the park, having to deal with various personnel changes, and also a change in the team that hit close to home.
“This year, the whole dynamics of the team has changed with my sister not being on the team anymore,” Taylor said. “With somewhat of a different coaching staff, too, I’ve had to make some adjustments, but I think I’ve adapted just fine.”
Coming down the stretch in her final season as a Laker, Taylor has led the team to a 12-4 overall mark, (8-4 GLIAC) with hopes of returning GVSU to the top of the conference.
“I think this team has the ability to take first place,” Taylor said. “These next couple of weeks are huge for us. We just need to take one game at a time. That’s what will prepare us best for the GLIAC tournament.”
Taylor and the Lakers will continue their chase for a GLIAC North crown, when they take on Saginaw Valley State University Thursday at 8 p.m. in Allendale, and at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Wayne State University.