Don’t be fooled by her size

From playing basketball with the boys as an eight-year-old to prospects of playing in the Women’s National Basketball Association, Rene Taylor has dedicated her life’s efforts and aspirations to the sport that has brought her a level of achievement unknown to most.

At 5 foot 2 inches, with a shining smile and a modest disposition, there’s more to the women’s basketball senior guard than can be summed up in a player’s biography. With the strength of determination and ability, Taylor’s game leaves little to be understated.

“I push myself to the limit,” Taylor said.

“I give it all I’ve got. It’s not like I can take it home and bring it back tomorrow. You have to give it all you’ve got right now.”

Growing up in Harlem, NY, Taylor began playing basketball as an eight year old on an all-boys AAU team. In high school she was a prep standout, awarded the MVP two times and voted First Team all New York City. Then at Monroe Community College her freshman and sophomore years, she led her team to two NJCAA National Championships and was a two-time NJCAA Division II First-Team All-American.

“Playing with the boys made me tougher,” Taylor said. “I work with what God has given me. I stay focused and I work to better myself and my team.”

As a junior transfer to the University of Miami, Taylor quickly became one of the ACC’s best point guards during the 2005-2006 season. Taylor has come to carry the team with her quick and exciting style of taking on defenders and executing her game with precision.

“She has grown tremendously as a player,” Head Coach Katie Meier said. “As a team, we have adapted a lot based on her talent. I am very proud of her.”

Strong ethics and a base of support have always been a major part of Taylor’s basketball career. With her family as a constant source of motivation, Taylor has found a source of strength in her blood.

“My little brother Terrell looks up to me,” Taylor said. “I want to give it all I have. At the end of the day, that’s all I can give and knowing he is there for me encourages me.”

As a role model, she has come to earn the respect and admiration not only from her family, friends, coaches and teammates, but also from those who have followed her from the sidelines as fans and supporters.

“Watching Rene play is always really exciting,” Will Mackie, a sophomore, said. “She’s awesome. I’m never let down at games.”

On the court, Taylor is fearless and unrelenting. Off the court, she is a self-described quiet and humble teammate who has big plans for the future.

Upon graduation, she hopes to take her career in basketball to the next level and even foresees a career in television along the line. She embraces the importance of working towards a goal and understands that all progress begins in the effort.

“Her career in basketball is already happening. It is far from over,” Coach Meier said. “She has the green light and definitely has the chance to play in the WNBA or overseas.”

Most people may not realize how competitive and focused Taylor is, but without such a taste for the heat, she may not have gotten as far as she has. As a 2006 All-ACC Honorable Mention nominee, Taylor played in every game of the season while starting all but one. In the ACC, she ranks second in free throw percentage, third in steals, and tenth in assists.

“When game time comes, she’s a warrior,” Coach Meier said.

Alexandra Vasquez may be contacted at