Paiten Taylor heading to University of Central Oklahoma
Hulbert senior Paiten Taylor signs a letter of intent to play basketball forthe University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond during a Nov. 11 ceremony atHulbert High School. Sharing the moment with Taylor, from left, is Hulbert girlsbasketball coach Alicia Zodrow; her mother Jackie Murphy; Athletic Director Kenny Bridges; and Towanna Martin, assistantbasketball coach. (Photo by Wesley Mahan)
HULBERT, Okla. – Cherokee Nation citizen and Hulbert High School senior Paiten Taylor signed her national letter of intent with the University of Central Oklahoma on Nov. 11, securing herself a college education.
“The coach saw me play in a tournament in Dallas and then the very next weekend he came down and talked to me,” Taylor said.
She said UCO, an NCAA Division II school, was the right place for her after visiting its Edmond campus.
“Their coach was really positive and just seemed like a really fun time there. Their players are all ready to play and seem like they really wanted to be there. And it’s a really really nice town.”
Taylor could have gone the NCAA Division I route. But one of UCO’s selling points was its proximity to her home.
“I was interested in Boise State (in Idaho) and they were interested in me, but that was really far away. Wyoming and Hendrix College (in Conway, Ark.) were the only other ones I was looking at,” she said.
Like many student athletes, Taylor found the recruiting process stressful and tiring.
“They used to call whenever they were allowed to and talk to me for 30 minutes to an hour. Even if I told them I had to go they wouldn’t listen and still talk. It got kind of annoying at times,” she said.
Taylor’s mother, Jackie Murphy, also played basketball in college and tried to help Taylor as much as she could.
“My process was totally different. I just told her she had to be comfortable with the decision she made, and it was her decision. Whatever she decided we told her we would be there to support her,” Murphy said.
That support may be needed making that adjustment from high school to college basketball.
“I think the hardest part will be playing with four other girls who can score and four other girls who are just ready to be there and ready to play all the time,” Taylor said.
Alicia Zodrow, Hulbert’s first-year girls hoops coach, said Taylor should fit in just fine at UCO because of her ability to read the floor and to take control and know what’s going on.
“She is just a great player and has an athletic ability that is hard for the other team to defend,” Zodrow said.
At the time of her signing, Taylor said she didn’t know what she would major in at UCO. However, she said no matter what it is, her goal is to have a high grade point average and excel in the classroom just like she does on the court.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Don’t let anyone else make your choices for you. They are yours to make,” she said.
Hulbert ᏗᏍᏆᏗᏍᎩ ᏚᏬᏪᎳᏁᎸ UCO
Hulbert, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎻ.- ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎠᎴ Hulbert ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏗᏍᏆᏗᏍᎩ Paiten Taylor ᎤᏬᏪᎳᏅ ᎤᏤᎵ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏁᎵᏍᎬ ᎤᏑᏰᏒ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎻ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏂᏃᏗ ᏌᏚᏏᏁ, ᎤᏪᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ ᏧᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ.
“ᎠᎾᎳᏍᎦᎵᏍᎩ ᏗᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎠᎩᎪᎲ ᏕᎦᏁᎶᎲᏍᎬ ᏓᎾᎵᎪᏂᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏅᏓᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏒᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᏭᏟᎢᎶᏟ ᎤᎷᏣ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏆᎵᏃᎮᏘᏂᏢ,” ᎤᏛᏁᎢ Taylor.
ᎤᏛᏁ UCO, ᎠᎴ NCAA ᎢᏳᏓᏓ II, ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏳᎪᏛ ᎨᏎ ᎤᏁᏟᏃᎮᏢ Edmond ᎣᏂ.
“ᎤᏂᎧᎲ ᎠᎾᎳᏍᎦᎵᏍᎩ ᏗᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎤᏙᎯᏳᎯᏯ ᎤᏰᎸᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓᏊ ᎢᏰᎸᏎ ᏂᎬᏫᏍᏕᏊ. ᏗᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᎧᎲ ᎤᎾᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗᏌᏘ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎬᏫᏍᏕ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ. ᎠᎴ ᎤᏙᎯᏳ ᎤᏬᏚᎯ ᎦᏚᎲᎢ.”
Taylor ᎡᎵᏊ ᏳᏪᏅᏎ Ꮎ NCAA ᎢᏳᏓᏓ I ᎤᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᎢᎬᎾᏕᎾ. ᎠᏎᏅ ᏌᏊ Ꮎ UCO’S ᏚᏭᎪᏔᏁ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎨᏎ ᏧᏪᏅᏒᎢ.
“ᎠᏆᏚᎵᏍᎩ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ Boise ᏍᎦᏚᎩ (ᎾᎿ ᎠᏗᎰ) ᎠᎴ ᎬᏆᏚᎵᏍᎩ ᎠᏯ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎢᎦ ᎢᏅᎯ ᎨᏒ. ᏩᏲᎻ ᎠᎴ Hendrix ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ (in Conway, ᏲᏁᎬ) ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏓᎴ ᏗᎩᎪᎵᏰᏓ ᎨᏒ,” ᎤᏛᏁᎢ.
ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᏁᏦᏍᎩ, Taylor ᎤᏩᏛᎮ ᎬᏩᎾᏲᏍᎬ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏙᎲ ᎤᏦᏎᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏍᏔᏰᎯᏍᏗ.
“ᏅᏛᎬᏩᏝᏃᎮᏗᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏩᏟᏃᎮᏙᏗ ᏦᏍᎪᎯ ᎢᏳᏔᏬᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏑᏟᎶᏓ. ᏙᏭᏍᏊ ᏱᎦᏥᏲᏎ ᎠᏆᏂᎩᏍᏗ Ꮭ ᏴᎬᏆᏛᏓᏍᏗᏍᎩᎢ ᎠᎴ Ꮟ ᏗᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎬᎢ. ᏍᏗᎩᏓ ᎬᏆᏦᏎᏗᏍᎬ,” ᎤᏛᏁᎢ.
Taylor’s ᎤᏥ, Jackie Murphy, ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᏁᏦᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏁᎸᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏍᏕᎸᏗ Taylor ᏄᏩᏤᎲᎢ.
“ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᎤᏙᎯᏳ ᎤᏓᎴᎾᎢ ᎨᏒ. ᏥᏃᎯᏎᎸ ᎣᏏᏊ ᎤᏰᎸᏗ ᏕᎫᎪᏗᏍᎬ, ᎠᎴᏃ ᏚᏭᎪᏔᏁᎢ. ᎦᏙᏍᏊ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏱᏚᏭᎪᏘᏂ ᎣᏍᏗᏃᎯᏎᎸ ᏲᏍᏕᏙᎠ ᎣᏍᏗᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏁᎢ Murphy.
Ꮎ ᎬᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬ ᎤᏚᏟᏕᎢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᎬᏅᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᎮ ᏧᎾᏕᎵᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎵᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏁᏦᏗ.
“ᎨᎵᏍᎬ Ꮎ ᏩᏍᏓᏴ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᏅᎩ ᏄᎾᏓᎴ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᏙᏣᏁᎶᎲᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᏂᏅᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᏅᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏓᎴ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᎤᎾᏛᏅᏍᏘᏌᏘ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎪᎸ ᏧᎾᏁᎶᏗ,” ᎤᏛᏁ Taylor.
Alicia Zodrow, Hulbert’s ᎢᎬᏱ ᎠᏕᏘᏱᏍᎬ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᎤᎾᏕᎦ ᏗᏘᏂᏙᎯ, ᎤᏛᏁᏃ Taylor ᎣᏍᏓᏊ ᎤᏰᎸᏁ ᎾᎿ UCO ᎢᎦᏳᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎤᏬᎵᏥᏌᏘ Ꮎ ᎤᎾᏁᏦᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏴᏍᏗᏊ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏅᏘ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎲ.
“ᎣᏍᏓᏊ ᏗᏁᎶᎲᏍᎦ ᏗᏁᎶᎲᏍᎦ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏁᏦᏍᎩ ᎣᏓᏱ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎰ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏗᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎩ,” ᎤᏛᏁ Zodrow.
ᎾᎯᏳ ᏥᎪᏪᎵᏍᎨ, ᎤᏛᏁ Taylor Ꮭ ᏳᏅᏖ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᎲ ᏧᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ UCO.
ᎠᏎᏃ, ᎤᏛᏁ ᎢᏳᏍᏓᏊ ᏱᎩ, ᏚᏭᎪᏛ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ ᏭᏅᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎵᏌᎳᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏓᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩᏲ ᏥᎾᏛᏁᎰ ᏳᎣᏦᎾ.
“ᏝᏍᏗ ᎨᎶ ᏥᏣᏃᎯᏎᎳ ᎥᎨᏣᏛᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ. ᏝᏍᏃ ᎦᎶ ᏥᏣᏃᎯᏎᎳ ᎢᏣᏛᏗᎢ. ᏂᎯ ᏨᏌ ᏗᏧᎪᏙᏗ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.