Redshirt senior guard Taylor Brown has been making a name for herself during her five years as a Mason Patriot. Brown has stepped up to be an example for success both academically and within the sport. She has also helped lead the women’s basketball team toward upward growth each season with her scoring and assists.
Fourth Estate sat down with Brown so we could learn more about her life both on and off the court.
The first thing we learned is that Brown played both soccer and basketball growing up. In her sophomore year of high school, she made the tough decision to give up soccer in hopes of focusing on her dreams of playing in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
TB: I really do love soccer, that’s the crazy thing. But I was definitely more focused because I was able to just play one sport. It was too much going on [playing both sports].
FE: When did you know you wanted to play college basketball?
TB: I always wanted to play college basketball. Ever since I was a kid, I always dreamed of going to the WNBA. I grew up watching it when it was big, back in the day. I still have a poster from 2000 hanging up on my wall of all of the WNBA’s super stars then.
Brown’s focus has paid off, as she is the third All-Time Scoring Leader, eighth in assists and eighth in three pointers. She has set many records during her time at Mason, including being the fastest to reach 2,000 points in history and recently receiving the All-State Good Works award.
FE: How does it feel, seeing that you’ve come so far?
TB: It is very humbling. It’s a blessing. I transferred [colleges], and that was a hard decision, so being able to come here and achieve some much just shows that it’s a process, and it’s exciting to see how it’s all come together.
FE: Why exactly did you transfer to Mason?
TB: Mason was one of my top options before I even committed to Georgetown. It’s just that on the second go around, I got a chance to look at the school again. I really just loved the school, it had my major [sports management], and it is close to home. I was big about being close to home.
FE: Does your family come and see all of your games since you’re so close to home? (Brown is from Bowie, Maryland which is about an hour and half drive from Mason.)
TB: They come to almost all of my home games.
The women’s basketball team had their last home game on Saturday against George Washington falling short with a 73-66 loss. However, Brown set a career-high with six 3-pointers and 20 points, according to GoMason.com.
FE: How have you seen the team change and grow during your time at Mason?
TB: Big change! Just before practice starts, almost everyone is in the gym. Everyone is hungry, and just loves to be out here, so it’s a big change. Even with our record (11-18, 6-10 A-10), we are improving every year. We win more games now, ever since I’ve been here we’ve been going up the ladder.
FE: What’s your favorite memory from Mason basketball so far?
TB: I would definitely say the St. Bonaventure game – the buzzer beater. That was exciting, because no one was expecting us to beat them since they were at the top. It was a good win for us.
Mason played St. Bonaventure on Jan. 14 where Brown scored a buzzer beater that sent the game into overtime. The team went on to defeat St. Bonaventure 68-55 at home.
FE: What is your favorite thing about home games?
TB: I would have to say the Green Machine. They really make you feel hype and like you’re at home, especially when you go to away games and it’s not the same.
FE: So, what is your favorite thing about away games then?
TB: Honestly, I would have to say the trash talking from other fans. It’s kind of cool and makes you competitive.
Off the court, you can find Brown writing lyrics and producing music that tells of her Christian faith or reading for her graduate degree courses in film and video studies. She finished her undergraduate degree in in sports management and is now in her second-to-last semester in graduate school.
FE: How has the transition of course work been while playing basketball?
TB: It’s been a big transition. And it’s kind of ironic because I got a 4.0 GPA, and I never got a 4.0 in undergrad, so it’s very weird. I guess when you find something you’re passionate about, you just get it done. It has definitely required a lot more work. I would say I’ve also had to be more professional at the same time. A lot of my work is being critiqued in graduate school to really help me better myself and be focused and do better. It’s definitely a big transition though – a lot of reading.
FE: What has been your favorite class?
TB: My English class in undergrad, because I just like to write. I write music, so I was really into that. For graduate school, my favorite class was independent production. I’m very independent, and I was able to create my first documentary about the basketball team, and it turned out really well. It was exciting and taught me a lot.
FE: What is your favorite pastime?
TB: I like to make music — rap and make songs. Right now, I’m actually working on an album to drop on SoundCloud.
FE: How did you get into making music?
TB: I have a passion for inspiring others to follow Christ and I created a website called taybrowntestimony.com. I’ve made a couple songs to different beats like “Back to Back” by Drake, which I made a gospel song to. I was posting consistently, but once the season started, I got busy. I’ve been writing though, so I plan on continuing to do that. I just started that blog this summer and I just kept pressing forward with that.
FE: What is your favorite movie?
TB: My favorite movie is “300.” I’m a film and video major so I enjoy the graphics and how dramatic it is. I just love how intense the movie is, and it just gets me hyped.
FE: What is a fun fact about you?
TB: I was on the David Letterman show when I was in kindergarten. It was something with 10 kids in the class where we had to say the top word of the day and I was number three. It was funny, because it’s a late night show so I was sleepy.
FE: When you got the All-State Good Works award two weeks ago, how did you feel?
TB: I was a little emotional. I didn’t even know, and then my coaches told me while we were on the bus headed to an away game. And then they told me that I’m going to the Final Four. I’ve always wanted to go to the Final Four, and the fact that I’m not going to play basketball but I’m still going is really exciting.
FE: What will going to the Final Four entail?
TB: I’m getting recognized at half time, and there’s some community service that I have to do.
Jerome Botcher, assistant director, added that there are five athletes from Division I and five from Divisions II and III and the NAIA. These athletes team up to participate in a community service project in Indianapolis, Ind., while the Final Four is taking place.
FE: Is giving back to the community something that’s important to you?
TB: One of the reasons why I majored in sport management is because my last [dream] job is to own a sports complex center and to give that to the community. I want to organize basketball camps and tournaments and use my platform to teach kids to have faith and trust the process. Basketball is one of the best tools to learn how to trust God, because there are so many obstacles and stuff thrown at you.
Mason is headed to the Atlantic 10 Tournament as at No. 9 seed and will play on Thursday against against No. 8 seed Dayton in Richmond, Va. Regardless of the teams advancement in the tournament, you can still support Brown by tuning into the Final Four April 3 and 5 from Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, as Brown will be recognized for her contributions to the community and volunteer work.