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July 11, 2020

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Taylor Willeke: Four more years of basketball in Ada - this time as a Polar Bear

The Ada Icon caught up with Taylor Willeke, Ada High School senior, recently. Here’s a portion of that conversation.

What courses are you taking this semester?
Taylor: Physics, Calculus, Sociology, Personal Finance, Spanish IV and Advanced Prep English 12.

When was the first time you held a basketball?
Probably when I was 2 years old. My dad was the eighth grade basketball coach and he’d take me to practice with him.

Tell me about your basketball stats, and were you surprised being named the Northwest Conference girls player of the year?
Taylor: It was completely unexpected. I was so happy. I’m a point guard. Let me look up my career stats (pause) 1,103 points, 424 rebounds, 280 assists and 153 steals.

What are your college plans?
Taylor: I’m going to Ohio Northern. Both my parents are alumni and played basketball. I met Coach Durant while playing in AAU tournaments. Now I play at ONU twice a week in open gyms and work out three days a week.

Tell me about your prom dress.
Taylor: It’s different. It’s white and mint green with sequins on the top. The bottom is a mermaid dress with feathers on the bottom.

If you were going to show up in something really off the wall, what would it be?
Taylor: I’d love to show up in a basketball uniform. Actually, I’ll be playing in the Ohio-Indiana girl’s all-star game in Ft. Wayne earlier in the day. I’ll be getting ready for prom on my way home from the game.

Is there a sport that you are really bad at?
Taylor: My worst is golf. Last summer was the first time I played. I was crying by the third hole. It’s a frustrating and humbling sport. For my birthday, my parents gave me purple golf clubs.

What did you always want to be when you were a little kid?
Taylor: I always wanted to be a pharmacist. My mom remembers me saying that when I was in the first grade. I’ve never changed my mind.

Did you ever break any bones?
Taylor: I broke my elbow when I was five. I was on a swing. Then in junior high was broke my left ankle in the second quarter in a game against Lincolnview when I was hit from behind. I was in a cast for two weeks. That was really my low point, when I sat on the bench the second half of the game.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would that be?
Taylor: Italy.

Tell me about the music on your I-phone.
Taylor: I have, let’s see, 689 songs. I like country, hip-hop and oldies.

If you could hear anyone in a live concert who would you like to hear?
Taylor: Actually I’m going with some friends on May 8 to hear Taylor Swift at the Nationwide Arena. The tickets were $200 each – Christmas presents.

Were you in 4-H?
Taylor: For eight years I was a member of the Liberty Bells and Boys 4-H Club. When I was 9 – the first year I showed – I won reserved grand champ gilt. Then when I was 11 I won grand champion gilt.

One last question, if I saw you eating your favorite pizza, what would the toppings be?
Taylor: White with ranch and chicken. I love that flavor.

Thanks for talking with us and good luck next year at ONU.