Taylor Hall's Late Night Basketball Call

Attends WNBA Tryout This Week

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

It was the midnight call that could change her life.

It was the Seattle Storm of the WNBA calling to invite soon-to-graduate UTC senior basketball player Taylor Hall to the Emerald City for a tryout and a possible spot with the pro team.

“I have never been one to show a lot of emotion, so I was pretty calm when the call did come in, “said Hall. “But my roommate (and teammate) Faith DuPree reacted just the opposite and was all emotional, excited and happy for me.”

UTC women’s coach Jim Foster had given Hall a heads up through a text a few minutes earlier that Seattle might be calling.

The Seattle Storm tryout camp begins April 27 at Royal Brougham Pavilion on the campus of Seattle Pacific Univ.  The team’s first pre-season game is May 11 and the season opens May 16.

 “I am pretty nervous about getting the opportunity for a pro tryout, but my nervousness is overshadowed by all that I have to do before flying to Seattle,” Hall said Wednesday afternoon.

To say her plate is full is an understatement as she has a couple of finals to complete, return school books, move out of her apartment, and drive home (Wednesday night), say good bye to family and friends and fly to Seattle Thursday.

Prior to her senior season, Hall had planned to attend med school after UTC, but coach Foster encouraged her to look at all her options, including pro basketball.

And for a young lady whose first 12 years on earth were spent in the basketball-crazed state of Kentucky, how appropriate that in her final college game (NCAA playoffs) played in Memorial Gym on the UK campus - on the same floor where Adolph Rupp once paced the sidelines and Rupp’s Runts, Louie Dampier, Pat Riley, Larry Conley and Tommy Kron excited the Blue Nation Faithful – she closed her career with a double-double of 19 points, 10 rebounds plus six assists.

“A pro basketball salary can really help pay the bills for medical school,” said Foster.

How ironic that life this week is a whirlwind for the 2014 Southern Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year as she heads west to try and earn a spot on the Storm roster.

“Confidence has never been my strong suit, but people are telling me to be confident, don’t be timid and give it my all,” Hall stated whose versatility of having played four positions this past season is a plus heading to tryouts.

But by looking at her college career, one would never know she lacked confidence.

As a senior, Hall averaged 15.0 points per game (9.8 for a career), 8.6 rebounds (6.7, career) and 4.5 assists (2.1, career), led UTC to the WNIT as a sophomore and and two trips to the NCAA tournament.

She also was a key player in the Mocs’ current 39-game home win streak which is the longest in the nation among NCAA D-I schools.

“I am in the process of finding an agent who can help me with a possible WNBA career or play overseas,” said Hall who graduates with a 3.6 GPA, had a 4.0 in high school and was Miss Basketball for Tennessee in Class AAA in 2010.

Hall is the third UTC women’s basketball player to be invited to a WNBA try-out. The San Antonio Silver Stars drafted Alex Anderson (2008) in the third round and Laura Hall attended a try-out camp in 2008 for the Connecticut Sun. Anderson is currently playing professionally for the Finland Catz.

“Depending on what happens in Seattle, I can take the MCAT in the summer and I have five years to enroll in med school.”

Hopefully in five years, Hall will be a pro basketball veteran with enough money to pay for med school and a basket full of memories which all started with a midnight phone call.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


PHOTOS: Ooltewah Dunks Fairyland In Mountain Top Experience

Former McCallie Lacrosse Standout Tate Boyce Named To All-USA Boys Team

McCallie's graduated senior Tate Boyce was named to the USA Today All-USA Boys Lacrosse Second Team. Boyce, a boarding student from Matthews, N.C., played goalie for the Blue Tornado and was instrumental in leading McCallie to the 2015 Lacrosse State Championship. It marked the program’s 10th overall state title in 25 years. Boyce was an All-State performer and a Tennessee ... (click for more)

Boyd Asks Coppinger, Compton To Apologize For Chief Of Staff's Outburst; Says Handbook Calls For Termination

County Commissioner Tim Boyd has written a letter to fellow commissioners and the county mayor's office asking an apology from County Mayor Jim Coppinger and his chief of staff, Mike Compton, for remarks after last week's commission meeting. Mr. Compton took strong exception to comments by County Commissioner Tim Boyd about discretionary funds. In a clash between the two just ... (click for more)

Settlement Reached In Case That Was County's Largest Verdict Award; Will Avoid Any Appeals Of Canyon Ridge Litigation

A settlement has been reached in the case in which a Hamilton County Circuit Court jury awarded over $32 million to Chattanooga developer Duane Horton in connection with a resort project on Lookout Mountain that never got off the ground. Circuit Court Judge J.B. Bennett said the two sides had informed him that it was agreed during a mediation session he ordered that there would ... (click for more)

On The News Tonight: A Reflection On A Horrifying Crash And Its Aftermath

On the news tonight,  on the news tonight. The unobtrusive tones on the news tonight. It's just make-believe You can't believe everything you see So baby, close your eyes to the lullabies On the news tonight.   "The News" by Jack Johnson On Journalism On Thursday I was in Jackson, Tennessee playing music. I was a minimum of four hours away ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This July

As the month of July dawns this morning, a walk through my garden shows some flowers blooming, my marigolds dying, and the grass is greener than I thought it would be. But as I look for what’s good and what’s bad, let’s remember that some firecrackers pop while others fizzle. Here we go… A BANG to career criminal Whitely Bulger, the 85-year-old master criminal who in a recent ... (click for more)