McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local Sports

January 17, 2014

Austin Taylor works his way back

(Continued)

McALESTER —

Not yet cleared to play, Taylor said he’s alternated between lifting and strength-training his knee and practicing in a limited capacity with the Buffs. He had surgery on Sept. 13, then went through a 10-week rehabilitation.

“When they put a two-pound ankle weight on you and you can barely pick it up, it was definitely a change of mind,” Taylor.

“Watching (the Buffs) practice made me want to play more and more, so it kept me working hard.”

Kept on the sidelines for every Buffs game so far, Taylor’s watched his team go 4-6. The Buffs were ranked 18th in Class 5A as of Thursday, and Taylor said this team has a chance at a deep playoff run.

When healthy, Taylor primarily plays shooting guard. Despite the position’s name, Taylor said scoring has never been his favorite part of basketball.

“I like to get other people shots,” Taylor said. “I especially like getting rebounds.”

Considering Steve Nash, a Los Angeles Lakers point guard known more for his passing than his shooting, is Taylor’s favorite player, Taylor’s preferences in basketball make sense.

Taylor said he has a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Feb. 4, and he could be cleared to play Ada that night. That’ll give him five games with the Buffs before the playoffs.

Once basketball season ends, Taylor will trade in his sneakers for golf shoes. He said he first started golfing with his grandfather, and last year earned the Buffs’ fifth bag and got to compete in tournaments.

Taylor said his grandfather, Kyle Adams of Abilene, Texas, has been a big influence on his life. Adams worked in the oil fields, and Taylor said he wants to double-major in petroleum engineering and mathematics when he goes to college next year.

Taylor said he’s narrowed his list of potential colleges to the University of Oklahoma in Norman, the University of Tulsa or the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

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