Basketball star back on team, ready to lead

After breaking his foot two years ago, Byron Taylor was forced to give up his love for playing basketball last season.

With a new season underway, Taylor is back with a new focus and he’s ready to help lead his team to victory.

Taylor, 22, a junior economics student from Tallahassee, said taking a break from basketball after breaking his foot was a learning experience.

“It was the hardest thing I ever did because I was on crutches for about six to seven months,” said Florida A&M University’s men’s basketball team point guard. “I think what really helped me last year is that I had a chance to make good study habits, and I got to bring my GPA up.”

Eugene Harris, head coach, said because of his practices on and off the court, Taylor is capable of leading his team.

“He’s done everything that I’ve asked him to do as a player,” Harris said. “He’s a Christian, and he has all the leadership qualities that a young black man needs.”

Harris also gives credit to Taylor’s parents for the point guard’s work ethic.

“He’s got a good upbringing from his mother and father,” Harris said.

Byron gives credit for his accomplishments on the court to his father, who was also his high school coach.

“From my dad being the coach, I got to see every game film and study the film,” Taylor said. “He was hard on me, but I reaped the benefits.”

Barry Taylor, Byron’s father, said he has impacted his son on and off of the court.

“I think I’ve had a positive impact on him in terms of his behavior, conducting himself, and being a good sport,” he said.

Taylor said he started perfecting his son’s craft way before coaching him at Florida High School.

“I actually coached Byron most of his life even before I was officially his high school coach,” Taylor said. “He and I have been going to camps all over the state of Florida.”

When he broke his foot, the younger Taylor said his parents helped him gain his strength back mentally.

“It was a steady uphill battle with the rehab, and just to walk or jog was tough,” Taylor said. “My parents encouraged me.”

After extensive training and conditioning, Taylor has finally joined his fellow Rattlers on the court.

Now he’s said he’s capable of taking on a leadership position.

“I think I’m a leader simply because it’s my fourth year here, and I have experience,” Taylor said. “Anything (my teammates) have a problem with on or off the floor I can relate to them.”

Now that Byron Taylor is back on the court, he said he feels proud to see Rattler fans out.

“I’m just happy to see that the fans are coming out again to support the Rattlers,” he said. “We definitely need that support and we love that support.”