Taylor scores 1,000th point

Published 5:53 pm Friday, January 26, 2018

One of Fort Dale Academy’s most standout athletes joined one of the school’s most exclusive clubs.

Senior Luke Taylor recently scored his 1,000th point as a member of the varsity basketball team, making him only the ninth student in Fort Dale history to do so.

For Taylor, one of the other members of the 1,000-point club–his brother, Chip–was a huge motivating factor.

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“It really meant a lot to me to try to get both of us in there, because we’re the second family to have two people in it,” Taylor said. “It was a personal goal as soon as I was put up to varsity in my freshman year. I thought it was cool when I saw Chip have his big ceremony, and I always thought I wanted to do that, too.”

Taylor said that having his big brother in the stands cheering him on that night against a tough Lakeside team was a form of role reversal from when Chip was the one on the court.

And though Taylor said that his older brother’s accomplishments at Fort Dale were much like a blueprint for his own athletic career, he said that it was Chip’s role as a mentor and a friend that paved the road to his own athletic success in the first place.

“If anything ever goes wrong, or if I don’t know what to do in a certain sport, I always call him up or text him and say ‘Hey, this is going on, what am I supposed to do if this happens?’” Taylor said.

“Even back during football season, he helped me out a lot. Whenever he was home, we’d come up to the gym and he would shoot with me. He’s taught me a lot. He’s my mentor. He’s my best friend. He’s always there.”

Taylor was roughly aware that he needed 18 points that night against Lakeside to secure his 1,000th point.  He lost track of the point total through the course of the evening, but he was told at the end of the night that he scored 18 points exactly.

He remembered those final two points well, even if he didn’t make much of it at the time; it was a layup made possible by a steal and a 2-on-1 fast break.

For Taylor, though, scoring has never been a primary concern.

“I don’t really think about scoring all that much; I just think about what I can do to give my team the best opportunity to win,” Taylor said.  “If that means scoring 0 or 100 in a game, it really doesn’t matter to me.”

The accomplishment was tempered somewhat Thursday evening as the Eagles’ playoff hopes were dashed at the hands of Pike Liberal Arts in the first round of the regional tournament.

But even that sour moment won’t stop Taylor from remembering his final season of high school basketball fondly.

“It was the most fun year I’ve had,” Taylor said. “We had 12 people, and I think eight of us were seniors. It was really big for us to spend all of winter together, and it brought our class together.  We were all really close to begin with, so we just kind of picked up where we left off from football season, because seen out of the eight played football.  It was one that we’ll always remember.”