Senior Spotlight: LHS basketball star Taylor Stephens

Published 8:15 am Saturday, March 19, 2022

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Taylor Stephens is a senior at LaGrange High School, a year he said came and went too quickly. Stephens is a basketball player for the Grangers and first started playing ball when he was in the fourth grade.

“It became one of the most important things in my life and a pathway to keep me out of the streets and in school,” he said.

His father got him involved with basketball at a young age as he himself used to play basketball along with a few other sports.

“My dad was an All-American athlete, and he was always on me about staying in school and keeping my grades up and playing hard,” Stephens said.

Being a Granger is all Stephens knows as he has been going there for all four years now. Being a Granger is in his blood.

“I was born into being a Granger. My mom went here, my dad went here, my granddad went here,” Stephens said. “It’s always been in me before I was even here.”

His favorite memory as a Granger: participating in a Special Night for Special Grangers.

“I enjoy helping the kids shoot a shot and make it,” Stephens said. “Sometimes they probably don’t think they fit in, but it feels good to make somebody else’s day.”

Another of his favorite traditions at LaGrange High School is Blue Crew; he loves seeing the supportive student section out in full force to cheer him and his fellow Granger basketball players on.

Stephens was the team’s sixth man this past season and did not take kindly to not being a starter when he found out, but eventually he checked his ego at the door and made sacrifices for the team.

“I didn’t take that too well at first because I’ve been here four years and I thought I deserved more recognition as a starter,” he said. “Then, I realized it’s more for the team and I play better off the bench.”

Stephens has also played travel ball with three different teams in the LaGrange area over the years.

Before a game, Stephens has to have a blue Gatorade and a pack of blue Skittles with some NBA Youngboy or Lil Durk blasting through his headphones, and he’s ready for action.

Stephens models his game after his favorite NBA player, Paul George.

Stephens hopes to play basketball at a junior college and major in accounting when he wraps up his high school career.

When he is not on the court, Stephens’ life still revolves around basketball. A self-described gym rat, he spends all offseason getting into basketball shape. He also loves to play 2k as the Golden State Warriors in his spare time. Stephens also launched a clothing line called Splurge a few weeks ago. He had friends that made clothes and decided to get in on the trend. Stephens bought the equipment needed and now makes shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, etc. and even does custom designs as well.

Stephens has always looked up to his cousin, Kenan Gray, who played basketball at LaGrange and graduated back in 2017.

“We were like two peas in a pod,” Steohens said. “Anything I need, he’s got me. Anything he needs, I got him. He put that light into me to go be great at LaGrange High.”