TULSA, Okla. – As for any freshman, beginning the journey of playing Division I college basketball can be shocker, but for ORU women's basketball newcomer, Nena Taylor, it's a welcomed adventure.
Taylor comes to Oral Roberts University from Parsons High School in Parsons, Kansas. Being from a small town usually has some disadvantages in recruiting and getting noticed by Division I universities. Most players from Taylor's high school take the junior college route before heading on to a four-year institution. She is one of three players to ever play Division I college basketball from her high school, but is the first go D1 right out of high school.
"It was a big deal when I signed with ORU," Taylor said. "I'm the first player to go straight to Division I out of high school from Parsons."
She was originally noticed by other local junior colleges and Division II schools. This was her initial plan, until she and her family reached out to ORU. After the first meeting, the ORU coaching staff saw film, met with Taylor and her family as well as watched her play in person. After the impression was left, Taylor was invited on visit to ORU.
"When I visited ORU for the first time, I felt that my style of basketball play could really fit the ORU system because it was similar to my high school system," Taylor said.
Instantly, she fell in love with the campus and atmosphere of the university. She really enjoyed the high-spirited and welcoming sense that everyone expressed. Once she was given an offer, she knew it was an offer she couldn't refuse.
"The people at ORU are great and everyone is extremely positive," Taylor said. I don't like negativity and there is not any. The positivity is a huge plus."
The team embraced Taylor once she became a part of the close knit group. The closeness of the coaches and players was one of the draws Taylor had. It was ultimately one of the main reasons she chose to join. A young, shy, Taylor, came out of her shell and met her teammates and sense they've all become a tight group.
"When I first met the team, I was reserved," Taylor said. "But, I gave a little and I really like the people and that's why I chose to come here."
As a freshman she looks to play a pivotal role with the possibility of substantial playing time. She hopes that when people come watch the Golden Eagles play that they will see the hard work put in and show what a great season it will be.
"We've been working very hard to show people that it's going to be a good season," Taylor said.
The ORU women's basketball team tips off the 2019-20 season Tuesday, November 5 at 11 a.m. against Central Christian inside the Mabee Center in the annual Best Field Trip Ever game.
For the latest information on ORU women's basketball, follow @ORUWBB on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.