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


Juster Takes Low-Pro Honors At Windstone

Gregg Juster shot 71 on Monday and took low-pro honors in the Chattanooga Chapter TN PGA Pro-Am at the Windstone Golf Club.  Monday's Results: Low Professional : 1st: (71) Gregg Juster 2nd: (77) Doug Amor Professional Skins: Gregg Juster #6, Doug Amor #12 & #17,  David Owens #!4 & #15 Amateur Skins: Jay Potter #1, Erik Atkinson #4, Jeff Ott #5, ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Peyton Manning - Still Great, Still Classy

There have been a lot of great quarterbacks in the long history of the National Football League. Anytime you feel like being involved in a long, healthy debate just start a conversation about who is the best quarterback of all time. Everyone has their own choice and when I was much younger, I always chose Johnny Unitas as the best to ever play the game. Most NFL fans agreed with ... (click for more)

Jo Ann Cronan Receives 6-Count Indictment For Bribing Voters In Polk County

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began an investigation on July 24, into allegations of illegal activities related to the August general election in Polk County. This investigation was commenced at the request of District Attorney General Stephen Crump. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, along with Calvin Rockholt, criminal investigator for the Office of the District Attorney ... (click for more)

Shooting At Woodlawn Apartments Claims Life Of 20-Year-Old Male; Victim Shot Multiple Times

A shooting late Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments has claimed the life of a 20-year-old male. At approximately 10:57 p.m.. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a gunshot wound call at 2300 Wilson St. Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to multiple life-threatening gunshot wounds. The victim has been transported ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)