Love & Basketball

By Kyle Bohigian

Michael Taylor and Taylor (LaMoreaux) Taylor began dating in high school in Brewster, Wash. Taylor was two years behind Michael in school but their relationship continued even after Michael graduated.

Mike went off to Eastern Washington University, where he was the Big Sky Conference runner-up for Freshman of the Year. He spent one year there before he decided to transfer to the University of Montana, another Big Sky Conference school. Once Taylor graduated from high school, she decided to take her basketball talents to Lewis & Clark University in Portland, Ore.During the 2009-2010 season, with Taylor at Lewis & Clark, Michael helped Montana to an NCAA Division I appearance.

“It’s everything it’s cracked up to be,” he said of the experience.

He played in two games during Montana’s NCAA tournament run, including a win over Weber State, and a narrow loss to an Associated Press Top Ten team, New Mexico. He said that the teams were given a police escort from their hotels to the arena: HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

As Michael and his team were making headlines, Taylor was planning to transfer to Whitworth.

After Taylor’s first year at Whitworth, Michael, with his third transfer, decided to joir the Pirate lineup.

“It was nice having Taylor here first; she was able to show me around,” Michael said.

The couple married on August 28, 2010, after having spent four of their six dating years apart, and they prepared to tackle Pirate basketball together.

One might wonder what a balance between basketball and marriage looks like. Since Whitworth often has “double-headers,” where the men’s game directly follows the women’s game, it’s oftentimes hard for them to watch each other play.

Mike said that he sometimes gets to catch the first 10-15 minutes of Taylor’s games, but then it’s straight to the locker room for pre warm-ups. Fortunately the games are recorded so they can watch them later at home. While they do occasionally critique each other, they both agree that they poke fun more often than not.

During the off-season, they enjoy playing basketball together.

“She knows how I like to play when I’m not around others,” Michael said.

“Sometimes I encourage him to use moves he has been working on in private in games,” Taylor said.

Whatever they’ve been doing in their one-on-one basketball sessions, it has directly translated to on the court success.

Taylor is currently second on the women’s basketball team in scoring (9.8 ppg) and leads the team in rebounds, blocks and steals. While Michael is leading the mens basketball team (currently the number one team in division III men’s basketball) in scoring at 18.5 ppg, and is also first on the team in assists (3.7 apg).

So what is next for this high-scoring husband and wife? Michael graduates this May, while Taylor still has one year to go at Whitworth. Mike hopes to continue playing basketball after he graduates. They are not sure what the future holds, but one thing is for sure: they eventually want to make it back to Brewster to raise their (future) children.

Michael has thoroughly enjoyed his one season here at Whitworth. He is impressed by the very same atmosphere that attracted Taylor to Whitworth in the first place. Michael noted that there are even more spectators at the Whitworth games than there were at home games for Montana.

“The crowd here is more into the games,” he said, “I enjoy playing for Whitworth,” says Taylor, “and that’s why I transferred.”

The dynamic duo will play their last conference game Saturday at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. The women will play at six, and the men at eight, after which the men will continue to the first round of the NWC playoffs, taking on Pacific Lutheran University Thursday Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Whitworth Fieldhouse.

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