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Sports

Suburban Life Female Most Valuable Athlete: Taylor Charles, Montini, basketball, sophomore

Taylor Charles
Taylor Charles

WHY SHE WAS SELECTED:

Charles hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in Montini's 50-48 win over Lincoln-Way West in a matchup of state-ranked teams. Charles had 11 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

Charles talked with Suburban Life sports editor Joshua Welge about the game and more. Here is an edited version of the transcript.

Welge: Can you replay that last shot?

Charles: There were 10 seconds left, and coach said we were running a play for a 3. I was shocked because we were only down one. Coach told me I was going to be shooting. We ran a double screen for me. When I got the shot up, two girls were flying at me. Everything seemed like it happened in slow motion. The clock went zero, the buzzer sounded and we all went crazy.

Welge: Have you had a game-winning shot before?

Charles: Not ever that serious, against a really good team and a shot like that.

Welge: What does that win do for the team?

Charles: It really boosts our confidence and shows that we can compete with anybody, even if we're down.

Welge: What's your thoughts going into the playoffs?

Charles: I think right now we are playing good basketball and playing together. I'm excited for this state tournament. I think we have a chance to do something special.

Welge: Not all girls with your height (6-foot-2) can shoot like you. Has shooting always been a strength?

Charles: One of the most unique things is I was never developed as a post player. I have more of a lean build, and I was always designed to play the 3 [small forward]. Since I started in sixth grade with the Truth [AAU program] I was always developed as a guard. So it's not a shock to me how I shoot; to everyone else it's crazy.

Welge: What's new with your recruiting?

Charles: Over the fall I visited different camps, visited Iowa, Purdue, different Big Ten schools. A couple weeks ago I picked up an offer from DePaul. I have offers from Purdue, Iowa, Michigan, Illinois, Virginia Tech.

Welge: Who and when was your first offer?

Charles: Michigan, in April my eighth-grade year. I had attended one of their camps and after I got home they reached out to my AAU coach and I got an offer that evening. It was surreal. They're an amazing program, and I was in eighth grade, hadn't even played a game in high school or even knew where I was going for high school.

Welge: When did you realize you might be able to play at the next level?

Charles: In eighth grade I switched to play basketball fully. I played club volleyball before that, both sports. I started going to different tournaments, started going to college camps and thought at that point maybe I can.

Welge: Is there athletics in the genes?

Charles: Yes, my dad played basketball and ran track at Indiana State and my mom played volleyball and softball at Central Michigan.

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