Fort Dale Academy senior Chip Taylor is a finalist for the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s AISA Player of the Year award. (File Photo)
Fort Dale Academy senior Chip Taylor is a finalist for the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s AISA Player of the Year award. (File Photo)

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Taylor finalist for Player of the Year

Published 12:46pm Friday, April 4, 2014

Few athletes have made as large of an impact on the world of Fort Dale Academy  athletics as Chip Taylor.

But when he received word that he was a finalist for the  Alabama Sports Writers Association’s AISA Player of the Year honor, no one was as surprised as he was.

“Honestly, I was shocked to learn that I had been selected as one of the finalists for the award,” Taylor said.

Taylor, alongside Torrence Brown of Tuscaloosa Academy and Anthony Holtzclaw of Glenwood School, were chosen for the honor among all AISA basketball players.

“I have played against the other two nominees in the past two years, so I know how talented of basketball players they are,” Taylor said. “And to be recognized with them as a finalist for Player of the Year was a special moment.”

Taylor averaged 23.3 points per game this season, leading Fort Dale’s scoring efforts. He also averaged 8.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.9 steals per game.

The nomination is one of a laundry list of accolades that Taylor has accumulated recently, including being named to the all-state basketball team by the same organization, as well as being the newest member of Fort Dale Academy’s 1,000-point club.

Despite the recognition, Taylor insists that the honors aren’t the result of his work alone.

“It also shows the large amount of hard work that both my teammates and I, along with Coach (Reggie) Mantooth, sow to be able to compete in such a competitive league and win games,” Taylor said. “Fort Dale has had some great players to be nominated for this particular award, and some to win it.  To be recognized and share this opportunity with some great basketball players is definitely a great honor.”

Nearly a decade ago, FDA alumnus Brett Paulk won the award during both his junior and senior years. He was the last FDA student to receive the honor.

FDA athletic director James Sampley said that although Taylor’s tremendous athletic prowess is notable, it’s not the only deciding factor in what makes him a great asset to his teammates and his school.

“He’s got a lot of athletic ability, but that isn’t what separates him,” Sampley said. “What separates him is that he’s got a lot of leadership skills and determination to try to push through whatever’s happening.”

Taylor and the other nominees will attend the ASWA Player of the Year banquet in Montgomery on April 16, where a winner will be chosen from among the finalists.

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