Local girl who ‘eats, sleeps and breathes basketball’ has big dreams

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 3:52 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Shamiah Taylor, 11, an incoming sixth grader at Waco’s Tennyson Middle School, is hoping to raise nearly $1,000 to play in the Halftime Sports US Basketball games from Aug 7 to Aug. 9 at the Lakepoint Sports Champions Complex in Atlanta after making a team made up of the best-of-the-best players from across the state of Texas.

"I made it to the Team Texas All-Star Team," Shamiah said excitedly.

"I would like for people to support me because it's a big opportunity. I love basketball and my dream is to play for Baylor."

Shamiah has been around basketball her entire life and started playing on a team at the age of 4.

"She eats, sleeps and breathes basketball," her mom, Ebony Brooks said.

Shamiah currently plays with the DC Queens select team in Waco, but she also travels multiple times a week from her Central Texas home to play for an AAU team in Dallas called Integrity Sports.

It's a big commitment from her mom, Ebony and father Shamian Taylor who are not together, but support their daughter as a team in her love for the game.

Ebony has a master’s degree in social work and is employed as a qualified mental health provider at Pathways Youth and Family Services out of Austin.

She somehow manages a full-time job with the associated travel while getting her daughter to and from practice an hour and a half away multiple times a week.

"I want her to play with the best competition," Ebony said.

"I think she needs to be pushed a bit and since she's really skilled for this area she can get more competition there. It's a lot of time and a lot of money but we're going for that scholarship," she said, laughing.

The young point guard has a game plan for raising the money needed to travel and stay in Atlanta for the weekend.

She's selling turkey legs made by family friend, Corey White, who is known for cooking up delicious meat. White already cooked for Shamiah once before and sold out quickly helping the young girl raise $300, one $12 turkey leg at a time.

This Friday will be round two as Shamiah and Corey set up shop at 2 p.m. in the front yard of a home at 1212 North 66th St. in Waco.

Ebony said supporting her daughter while enjoying a good meal would mean the world to the aspiring hoopster.

"It would mean a lot because she will be able to get the exposure she needs," Ebony said. "It'll be her first time playing on a big stage. She knows how much I work to help her towards her dream so it'll help me. I sacrifice a lot for her to play on these travel teams. Basketball is her love and she wants to play for Baylor and make it to the WNBA."

“I would like to thank my family and friends for helping me and supporting me,” Shemiah added.

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