GMU's Taylor Brown got a jump on leadership with her own basketball camps
Taylor Brown’s march started early, to beats awesome and interesting and very, very, very much of her own drum. When she was 10 years old, it dawned on George Mason’s senior guard that there weren’t a lot of grassroots basketball camps for the pre-teen crowd in her Bowie, Md., neighborhood.
So she launched one.
Right there on the family driveway.
“Both of my parents majored in business, so I guess they kind of trained and taught me how to be organized and run a camp,” the Patriots’ women’s basketball standout explained. “So I was interested and my dad said, ‘Hey, you should run a camp.’”
Which they did. Just like that. The family huddled up and laid out a plan. Taylor went door-to-door to announce it, roping in neighbors, cousins and a few curious onlookers, and off they went.
“We had T-shirts drawn up, did drills and everything,” said Brown, whose Patriots host St. Joseph’s Sunday on ASN. “I had a good time. I learned a lot, I guess.”
Organization. Discipline. Finishing what you start, no matter how ambitious or far-fetched it looked on the drawing board. About a dozen local kids turned up on the driveway for the start-up camp. Taylor and her older sister shared the finer points of shooting and dribbling, with adults on hand to help shag the occasional wayward pass.
“At that age, I just wanted to teach younger kids how to play,” said Brown, who heads into the weekend ranked among the Atlantic 10’s Top 10 in scoring (eighth, 14.9 points per game), assists (10th, 3.2 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (10th, 1.2). “I just loved basketball, so I think it was something I just loved being around, I loved doing. When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher. I think I just really fell in love with that.”
Once an example, always an example. The Maryland native has put together stat lines of at least 10 points and four assists in the same game on eight different occasions for the Patriots this winter — most recently at Davidson this past Wednesday.
“Oh, definitely, that was one of my things that I’ve been working on, especially this year, just being more of a leader,” Brown said. “And just trying to help my teammates and be more vocal. So that’s different, something that — because I’m a redshirt senior — I’ve got a lot of experience to tell my teammates stuff I’ve been through and just help them to get (better), most definitely.”
One of Prince Georges County’s shining prospects coming out of Bishop McNamara High School, the long road started at Georgetown; after a coaching change, Brown transferred south and west. The 5-foot-7 sharpshooter led the Atlantic 10 in scoring in ’13-’14 and hit the 1,000-point mark quicker than any player in program history.
“Seeing how the program has progressed over the years, I would definitely say we’re doing pretty well because we’ve come a long way,” Brown said. “And I think we’re still working to do more. And I’m really proud of the progress of our team. It’s more (about) team goals as well as personal goals. I think that the more I work on my leadership and bring my presence on the floor, (it) really helps the team goals, too.”
She’s made her presence felt off the court as well, pursuing her master’s in Film and Video Studies. Brown’s CV includes internships with Gearshift.tv, work on videos that appeared on The Washington Post’s online platforms, and a feature on ex-Mason men’s hoops star Bryon Allen. The ultimate goal is to own a videography company. Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.
“I’m really into music videos,” says Brown, who’s posted several of her own at taybrowntestimony.com. “It doesn’t matter (what genre), there are a whole bunch of different music videos I’m into.”
Different beats, different looks, different voices. But one favorite.
“I’ll go with ‘Hey Ya!’ by Outkast,” Brown said. “The video where (Andre 3000) is in multiple places. I don’t know how to do that as a videographer. I just think that’s really cool. I want to do that one day.”
Above: George Mason's Taylor Brown's entrepreneurial skills have led her to video production as well as production on the court for the Patriots. (Courtesy George Mason Athletics)
Middle: Taylor Brown started early, organizing basketball camps in her parents' yard. (Courtesy Taylor Brown)