Against All Odds: Former Mott All-American John Taylor shoots for the NBA



By Eric Woodyard

FLINT, MI - Ready or not, here John Taylor comes.

After a record-breaking college basketball career, Chi-Town's finest is giving it a shot at professional basketball - preferably in the National Basketball Association. The odds are definitely stacked against the 6-foot-1 guard to actually breakthrough in the pro ranks but he doesn't view betting on his future as a risky gamble.

Especially after all that he's accomplished in his last two college seasons at Mott Community College and California's Fresno Pacific University, where he dominated the opposition.

"I felt like I've done everything that I could possibly do in college basketball and I felt like in order for me to get better I have to play against guys that's better than me and play with elite guys so I can prove that I'm an elite player and not that I can just take over on the lower level," said Taylor, who led MCC to a JUCO national title in 2012. "I can do it at a higher level, too.

"I just decided to enter the draft to prove that I'm as good as people think I am."

The draft process for Taylor has been interesting.

He has worked out with scouts from the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers but his agent Brian Brundage of Worldwide Career Management (WCM) has found it challenging to generate a strong buzz for Taylor to NBA teams to really sell his client.

"At this point we've had a challenge to get teams to take note of what John is capable of doing," Brundage said. "Everybody has a certain mindset of what they think about the players that they're scouting like with the mock draft list so that's really been the toughest thing is getting them to take the blinders off and pay attention to a talent like John's."

If Taylor doesn't hear his name called June 27 in Brooklyn, New York, Brundage is still exploring every option available for his client including overseas and the NBA Development League. The D-League's Fort Wayne Mad Ants have shown interest and Taylor is scheduled to take part in other pro camps.

Although Taylor did average a school-record 27.5 points per game, set the single-season scoring record (825) andbecome the first 50-point scorer at Fresno Pacific University as a junior, FPU is still relatively unknown in comparison to the big name programs. FPU competes in an NCAA Division II conference so they don't receive the major publicity like other big-time colleges and Brundage constantly finds himself having to educate pro teams on Taylor's game.

When Taylor entered his name in the 2013 NBA Draft as one of the 77 early entrants May 1 his decision shocked his former Mott coach Steve Schmidt. He learned the news while out of state and didn't know how to react initially. He never doubted Taylor's skills to compete on that level but he's not blind to the politics of the process.

Knowing that, Schmidt says he would've advised Taylor to return for his senior year at Fresno Pacific to earn his college degree but being mindful of his past issues in the classroom the legendary Bears coach understood his situation. Academics are what blocked Taylor from playing Division I basketball after his All-American season at MCC. Taylor also has a one-year-old son John Taylor Jr. to provide for.

"I do understand the decision being around John and knowing how he doesn't really like school," Schmidt said. "I know John is undersized but he's tough. John has got the talent but realistically a lot of people are taking up spots on some of these rosters that are older with contract obligations."

Schmidt has frequently been in contact with Taylor since the decision and was used as reference for a Brooklyn Nets scout on his behalf. That conversation went great, according to Schmidt, and he's pulling for Taylor to get a NBA shot.
If not, Schmidt is confident that Taylor will get paid to play basketball somewhere.

"There's no doubt in my mind that he's going to be playing basketball and making money whether it's in the NBA or overseas," Schmidt said. "He's that talented and the thing that sets him apart from a lot of players that I've coached is his confidence. He's just very determined."

Taylor is staying sharp and adding muscle to his frame with position coach Art Kimber in Schererville, Indiana through Next Level Athletics. He's away from home trying to stay focused while he lives with a host family provided by WCM and doing whatever it takes to get better. His fate will be determined in the upcoming weeks.

"I'm just going hard and doing the things I know how to do," Taylor said. "Putting on weight and getting stronger is my main focus."

Former Mott star Doug Anderson and Glen Rice Jr. are two other players with Flint ties that are hoping to get drafted this year.


  • Marvin Hall Jr signs with Arizona Cardinals
  • Titans promote David Fluellen to 53 man roster; waive Cody Riggs
  • Finding a place for the recovered Branden Oliver
  • Chicago Bears Linebacker John Timu Participates in Autism Awareness Month
  • John Timu reflects on rookie season
  • Jaydon Mickens selects WCM
  • Film Study: Bears LB John Timu earns more playing time
  • 5 Things to Know About Rannell Hall
  • Vidal Nuno: The Hidden Secret of the Trumbo Trade
  • Denver Broncos sign undrafted Buffalo Bulls Rookie Andre Davis
  • Broncos sign Undrafted Rookies Andre Davis and David Porter
  • The Remarkable Transformation of Rannell Hall
  • University At Buffalo's Andre Davis Signs With Worldwide Career Management
  • Top Offensive Lineman Out of New York Commits to WCM
  • Scott Vandermeer Named Top UIC Athlete in the Last 50 Years
  • Chargers' Rookie Poised to Run wth Opportunity in San Diego's Offense
  • 7 - Foot Center Vying for Fifth Career Championship in Uruguay's Lub
  • Chicago Native brings more than championships to a city that needs it
  • Late Season Addition Helps Propel Rattlers to AFL Championship
  • Brandon Oliver Explodes on his Debut
  • Tony Bennett Ranks as MVP of Nike Chicago League
  • Nick Haag RE - Signs Indoor Football League Contract
  • Dean Anna Sees Opportunity with Pirates
  • Scott Vandermeer Ready to Rejoin Summer Leagues
  • Elijah Pittmans Road to Recovery and the NBA Draft
  • Lamaar Thomas to Host Albuquerque Youth Football Camp
  • Elijah Pittman is Ready to Shine in NBA
  • Former Buffalo Bull Willie Moseley Signs with CFL
  • Elijah Pittman is Ready to Shine in NBA
  • Scott Vandermeer Ready to Rejoin Summer Leagues
  • Lobos Kicker/Punter Greg Rivara to Try Out for Dolphins
  • Branden Oliver to Try-Out for Spot on Colt's Roster
  • Dallas Bollema Invited to Try Out for Vikings
  • Houston Texans Select Anthony McClung as Free Agent
  • Former Florida State DT Jacobbi McDanciel is a Cleveland Brown
  • Ryne Giddins Signs as Free Agent with Buccaneers
  • Ole Miss Running Back Jeff Scott Signed as Bengals Free Agent
  • Calvin Washington to Try for Spot on Bear's Roster
  • Dallas Cowboys Draft Will Smith of Texas Tech
  • Former Hurricane Jimmy Gaines Selected as Buffalo Bills Free Agent
  • Former Florida State DT Jacobbi McDaniel Scheduled to Work Out for Browns
  • Tracy Moore Signs Free Agent Deal with Bengals
  • Chargers Sign Asu Safety Alden Darby as Free Agent
  • Tracy Moore Aspiring to Lead in NFL
  • Chargers Sign Asu Safety Alden Darby as Free Agent
  • Upper Deck Releases Tracy Moore Trading Card
  • Chicago Inferno Sign Local Talent Tony Halterman
  • Greg Reid One of the First to Arrive to St. Louis Rams' Voluntary Workouts
  • A Look Into The MLB'S Breakout Star: Dean Anna
  • The Dean of Swing Has a Theme Song!
  • Chicago Native Dean Anna is Yankees Latest Star
  • Jimmy Gaines Grabs Attention of Scouts at Hurricaines Pro Day
  • Tim Parham Named to Canadian NBL All-Star Team
  • Tim Parham Named to Canadian NBL All Star Team
  • Consummate underdog Dean Anna cracks New York Yankees roster
  • Postgame notes: Dean living the dream
  • Mokena Native Dean Anna Makes New York Yankees Opening Game Roster
  • New York Yankees' Dean Anna: End of a 'long journey'
  • Dean Anna Part of Yankees Opnening Day Roster
  • Joe Wolfinger Named Top Center in NBDL Japan
  • Joe Wolfinger Named Top Center in NBDL Japan
  • Holiday Bowl Defensive MVP, Will Smith, Continues to Impress with Pro Day
  • Jacobbi McDaniel Increases Draft Stock with Solid Pro Day
  • Gred Reid Grabs Spotlight in Return to FSU's Pro Day
  • Dallas Bollema Comes Up Big in Lobos Pro Day
  • Tracy Moore Has "Explosive" OSU Pro Day
  • Alden Darby Takes Step Closer to Pros at ASU Pro Day
  • Dean Anna Inks Major League Deal with Yankees (Tampa)
  • Dean Anna Inks Major League Deal with Yankees (Mokena)
  • Tim Parham Breaks Canadian Hoops Rebounding Record
  • Branden Oliver Shines at U of Buffalo Pro Day
  • James Manuel Hits It Big at Minneapolis Pro Day
  • Shakir Bell Draws a Crowd at Indy Pro Day
  • Liberty's Big Man, Jibrille Fewell, Impresses at Pro Day
  • Jeff Scott Delivers Top Speed Performance at Pro Day
  • What can Worldwide Career Management do for you?
  • Dean Anna Traded to the New York Yankees
  • MEN'S BASKETBALL: Sweet Release
  • CANUSA Sports Desk Show: Guest Appearances by Brian Brundage & Alise Mills
  • Second Session of Eurobasket Summer League Las Vegas All-Star team revealed!
  • Liam McMorrow Drafted to Play for NY Knicks' Summer League Team
  • Ex-Fresno Pacific star John Taylor eyes NBA draft
  • ESL announces 2013 Indianapolis All Tournament Team
  • Against All Odds: Former Mott All-American John Taylor shoots for the NBA
  • Pro baseball players give free clinic at Ho Chunk
  • Tim Parham: The Life of Playing Basketball Overseas
  • AL HAMNIK: 'Project' player Fred Blue won't give up NFL dream
  • North Lake sport briefs: Griffith Wrestling Club holding registration
  • NWI Times: Jim Peters: Dream Chaser
  • NWI Times: Al Hamnik: NFL Hopefuls Knocking At The Door
  • RealGM Wiretap
  • Taylor declares for NBA Draft, will forego senior season
  • Fresno Pacific star John Taylor declares for NBA draft
  • HoopsHype.com Rumors
  • Tim Parham Going Big in Return to the Halifax Rainmen