Warren senior Taylor Mineweaser was never going to be tall.
Her father knew that. But he didn't stop her from dribbling two basketballs for hours in the basement, or shooting hoops at the YMCA every night until it closed.
He couldn't have stopped her if he wanted to. At two years of age, she would shoot over and over into a little plastic toy hoop. That's how she learned to count, he said.
Warren senior Taylor Mineweaser
"She always had that drive to do things on her own," said Todd. "We let her do her thing; I've never known anybody that loves the game of basketball as much as her."
Taylor didn't dominate the recent Mercyhurst Prep win - the first time Warren has beaten the Lakers since 2001, but she had a couple of crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and in overtime, respectively, in the 61-48 win.
She probably couldn't tell you how many points (9) she scored that game. It's never been about stats, "And that's not intentional," said Todd. "She just loves to play."
Everything starts with that, including leading by example and mentoring the younger players just by hanging with them off the court. She doesn't push the leadership thing.
"She's just not real vocal about things," said Todd. "She's very modest, even at home."
When Todd asks her how her game went, she says, "It went okay." When he tells her she needs to shoot more, she says, "My job is to (pass the ball)."
She's obviously a guard.
"I knew when she was at a young age, she'd better learn to dribble with both hands," he said, due to her size.
But everything she's had to overcome, she has.
"She knows she has to work harder than kids bigger and faster," he said. "She was so easy to coach. She still plays like the little kid I coached when she was young.
"I don't see Taylor ever stepping away from basketball," he said.
It's who she is.
A little "Q & A" with Taylor Mineweaser:
Q: Who are your parents and siblings, and what sports do you play?
A: My parents are Todd and Kim Mineweaser and I have two siblings, an older brother, Eric Moore, and a younger sister Madi. I have participated in basketball and softball ever since I was little. Also I'm trying trap shooting this year thanks to a friend persuading me into it.
Q: Taylor, you have never been the biggest or strongest player on any of your teams - not even when you were really young... has that made things more difficult, or has that motivated you?
A: Being little is at times difficult especially in basketball. But it does motivate me to work harder during the off season and at practices to make up for my size. Although sometimes being little isn't always bad, such as I get a lot of foul calls in basketball.
Q: Now that you are a senior, how much do embrace the leadership role? How is it different now than it was when you were a freshman or sophomore, for example?
A: This year I had to really step it up and become a senior leader with my fellow classmate Jaimie Eaton. The last couple years I didn't have to worry about it because of the class above me. This year is a lot different than the past years. I didn't have to worry about setting positive examples to my teammates because the leaders always did that, but that's not the case this year. As my coach, Lisa always says its like a mom duck and all her babies following behind. They do exactly what Jaimie and I do.
Q: What are all the activities you are involved in outside of sports and why do you participate in each of them?
A: In school I am involved in SADD, varsity club, and history club. I know I'm forgetting some but I can't think of them right now. I participate in them because I like to be involved in things with my friends. Outside of school I enjoy fourwheeling, hunting, spending time with my family, and hanging out with friends.
Q: Playing sports most of the year, are you an ultra-competitive person, or do you prefer to be mellow?
A: I would say I am definitely an ultra-competitive person. I don't like to lose at things. Even if it's just a simple ping pong game with friends. I have always been a competitive person, it's just how I am.
Q: You have had many different types of teams over your four years playing Warren basketball and softball. What are a couple of your favorite teams and moments?
A: My freshmen year of softball was the best team/group of people I have ever competed in sports with. That senior class was just an outstanding group of people and I really looked up to them. They worked hard everyday and were great leaders. My favorite moments with this team was all the team bonding we had and winning D-10. Basketball wise the past years teams we have all played together so long and had that bond so that was also a great team. But this year is my favorite team for basketball. We just all get along and although at times we might get frustrated with each other we just click together. I do believe this is probably one of the most talented teams we have had in a while.
Q: What do you want to do after high school? College?
A: After high school I do plan on going to college. There are a couple of colleges I got accepted in to but I haven't decided which one i will be attending. Also I am going in undecided but I think I will eventually get into accounting.
Q: Would you say you can't wait to move to a big city someday, or are you a country girl that likes what Warren County has to offer?
A: Although I do love the country and where I live I think i will eventually move down south to North Carolina. I have just always liked it there. Plus it's warm down there and I'm a big fan of UNC.
Q: Is it strange to live in Youngsville and go to school in Warren?
A: I don't find it strange since I didn't move to Youngsville until my 6th grade year because of my dads job requirements. I grew up with all of the Warren kids and played sports with them so I didn't want to give that up to go to Youngsville. I would say moving hasn't really effected how many friends I have because I don't communicate with too many Youngsville students.
Q: If you could be 6-foot-1 for one day, what would you try to accomplish?
A: Oh, boy, if only I could be 6-foot-1. I would try so many different things. But the one major thing I would probably try to accomplish would be dunking. I have been throwing it down on the mini hoop by my house for a while now and to be able to dunk on a 10-foot hoop, that would just be great.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: The people that inspire me the most are my family. I look up to my brother especially. He's just one of those kids that has a great attitude and everyone likes him. Even though I don't see him all of that much he still is one of my biggest role models. I would also have to say my Uncle Eric and Dad have really inspired me especially with basketball. They have both been working with me since I was real young. And not just with basketball have they inspired me but with what they do to help out other people and what they do for the community.
Q: Tell me something not many know about you that you'd be willing to share.
A: Some people may not know that I really enjoy hunting. My whole family does it and it's just something we can enjoy together. Plus it's relaxing and relieves stress.
Q: Tell me one question I forgot to ask, and then answer it.
A: Who is my favorite professional athlete and why?
I have two favorite athletes Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant. I just think these guys are very talented in basketball. I can relate to Rose a lot because he isn't the tallest player out there either. And he's an outstanding player. Kevin Durant, I have always been a fan of even through college. He's a great leader and a great player.