By Alex Ancira
TWU Pioneers guard Taylor Swift stands as a strong example of the virtues of teamwork. Through three years of playing Pioneer basketball, Swift has been a vital part of a team that has changed many times over the past two seasons. Swift was on the team that won the Lone Star Conference Championship, and with only 40 games under her belt, has a promising senior year
ahead of her.
This season, Swift has to the team’s success, hitting a game-winning jumper at the end of regulation against Ouachita Baptist and making her first two career starts. Swift is not afraid to put in the work, stating: “It’s been fun — it’s been a lot of hard work, time and energy and effort. Because you’re not a regular student, you don’t have that extra time that a ‘normal’ student has. But this is my third year here, and I’ve liked it a lot.”
Of course, the time constraints have made things difficult, but Swift seems to be enjoying the ride. Swift explained the value of travel for the team and although it is difficult, the payoff is well worth it: “Oh yeah, road games are fun. I mean sometimes the drive is tiring, but when it’s game time you’ve got to be ready. It’s a good bonding time with the team.”
Swift stands at 5’4”, dwarfed by many of the taller forwards in this conference and the game in general. But Swift refuses
“Obviously there’s nothing I can do about my height “she said,”but honestly the only thing that I have to be careful of is just being there down in the lane with the big trees [taller players] … I’ve definitely got my shot blocked a few times. That’s just when you’ve got to know yourself and know your abilities. Sometimes I’ve got to pull up and shoot the jumper instead of going for the lay-up.”
Swift values being part of the team above all else, choosing an ancillary role if necessary: “I’m just here to play. If I’m starting or I’m coming off the bench, I’m just there to try to get the ‘W.’ If I’m on the court, no matter how I get on the court, I’m going to get out there and do my best, so that doesn’t really play into how I play or my attitude. I just go out there and play basketball.”
Unfortunately, it is difficult sometimes sharing the name of a famous pop star. Swift may not look much like her more that does not stop others from bringing up a comparison: “Oh yeah [it happens] all the time. It’s mostly from the fans, not necessarily from other teams. At Tarleton, it was pregame and I was warming up and the band was, I’m not kidding you, for 30 or 45 minutes just going on and on and on about my name and I mean every time I touched the ball or shot the ball — it was ridiculous.”
When she is not knocking down buzzer-beaters, Swift is busy in the classroom working towards a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology, a change of major made not too long ago from Psychology. However much basketball has impacted her life, Swift is unsure if she will incorporate sports with her career.
“You know I never really thought it, honestly,” she stated. “It sounds cool, but I got into [sociology] because of underprivileged kids or abused
Photo courtesy of Google images
kids. I want to volunteer at the Children’s Advocacy Center over the summer, but you never know what’s going to happen when you graduate.”
Swift is playing more minutes this season than previously, and the break from games last weekend has been appreciated. Swift explained the importance of the break, saying, “We didn’t have a game last Saturday, but
Photto Courtesy of TWU Athletics
we had a few days of practice so it’s been good for us.”
The Pioneers clash against Texas A&M-Commerce today at 7 p.m. at Kitty Magee Arena. TWU’s basketball “Tailgate Wars” occurs before the game in the Pioneer Hall black-decal parking lot.