Senior Jordan Taylor named Mr. Basketball

John Moore

The 2008 Mr. Basketball award winner is J––,” and that is enough. The speaker is drowned out as the Marriot ballroom erupts with applause and fills with the shouts of joy from fans, friends, and family.

And as he walks through the veil of camera flashes, the last one more blinding than the next, he steps up to the podium, speechless. Less than one month after winning the state championship, senior guard Jordan Taylor was crowned Mr. Basketball.

Surrounded by the best girls and boys basketball players in the state Taylor received the highest honor Minnesota basketball has to offer. “I was shocked and relieved. It is a great honor.” The award in itself is an achievement, but considering who he was up against, it is just that much more spectacular.The other Mr. Basketball candidates included Minnetonka’s Anthony Tucker, Princeton’s Jared Berggren, Ellsworth’s Cody Schilling, and Cretin-Durham Hall’s Michael Floyd.All the aforementioned players averaged over 20 points this past season and Schilling is the state’s all-time leader in scoring.Even with the illustriousness of the ceremony, which was presided over by WCCO’s Don Shelby and included a speech by last year’s Mr. Basketball, Blake Hoffarber, Taylor was not fazed. “I wasn’t really nervous. I felt laid back and enjoyed being with the other candidates, but I got anxious when [the ceremony] started to get long.”After the three and a half hour wait Taylor finally received the award along with the Ms. Basketball award recipient Courtney Boylan. Both were outstanding team players that complemented their knack for scoring with great court vision. Being the true team player he is, Taylor, as for accomplishments, would rather take State. “The state championship was more satisfying because it is a team achievement rather than an individual award.”Despite his numerous awards, which includes Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year, Taylor has retained his modest demeanor, refusing to let them change his perspective, “I don’t want to get too comfortable because I know next year I’m right back at the bottom of the totem pole. I have a long road to getting better.”John Moore, Diversions editor