Taylor Hall continues to receive post-season recognition
Sports | Jillian Schinzing for The Clarion
Photo for The Clarion courtesy of BU Sports Information
Senior Taylor Hall has received more athletic awards this year than most players receive throughout their entire college careers. Hall was named MIAC MVP and MIAC Joe Hutton Player-of-the-Year, as well as a member of the MIAC All-Conference Team, MIAC All-Defensive Team, NABC Division III West District First Team, NABC Coaches' Division III All-America Second Team and D3hoops.com All-America Second Team.
The forward was also chosen for the 2013 Reese’s Division III College All-Star game and named the MIAC’s top all-around player. Hall also led the league in scoring, averaging 21.8 points per game, and ranked first in rebounds, blocked shots, field goals and free throws.
Head basketball coach Jeff Westlund described Hall as "powerful, explosive, intense, skilled, driven and a great competitor.”
Hall started the season with three straight 30-point performances, and he scored double figures in all but three games, with a season high of 37 points. His statistical dominance earned him three MIAC Athlete of the Week awards.
Westlund said one of Hall’s major strengths is his competitiveness. "He would be on the floor diving for loose balls and put in extra effort defensively to get the rebound,” Westlund said. “He decided he was going to play that way, and he was amazing.”
Regarding his personal achievements, Hall said he was most proud of his spots on the All-America teams. “I’m proud of it because it’s a combination of my career,” he said. “I’m not saying that I worked toward individual goals all the time, but it was nice to be individually recognized for it on the court.“
Hall walked in the May 2012 graduation, but he had only played three years of college basketball, so he had one more year of eligibility. He surprised many when he decided to come back and play.
“It was kind of weighing on me over the summer, and I needed some time to think about it,” Hall said. “I talked to my assistant coaches, prayed about it a lot, and in the end I knew I was going to regret it if I didn’t come back.”
Hall said his personal highlights from this season didn’t come from a single game or moment.
"I think the highlight of the season was more the road trips with my teammates,” Hall said. “Every bus ride we’d just joke around. That’s the stuff I’m going to remember when I’m 70 and 80 years old – not just the games we played, but really the conversations we had.”
Hall said one of the things he’s going to miss the most about Bethel basketball is the family-like bond he shared with his coaches and teammates. According to Westlund, the feeling is mutual.
“He did so many different things on the court as a well-rounded player that we will miss him leading by example,” Westlund said.
Hall is currently working full time at Johnson Brothers while receiving credits. While Hall is unsure of what the future holds for him, he has been in contact with agents and coaches encouraging him to try out for overseas teams.
“I think I’m going to just kind of just leave my options open and enjoy life, and we’ll see where God takes me,” he said.
Although Hall will miss his time as a Royal, his remarkable basketball career may not end just yet.