By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
Taylor Bannister was destined to be a basketball player.
Her grandparents played basketball in college. Her father played in the National Basketball Association for five years and in various international leagues for 10 years, and her mother played basketball at Dulles High School and Rice University.
But when Taylor, who is 6 feet 5 inches tall, entered Fort Bend Christian Academy High School, she chose her destiny by dropping basketball and going out for volleyball.
“I just decided I wanted to do something else, so I went out for volleyball,” Bannister said.
Things didn’t go well at the beginning.
“I was really bad my freshman year,” Bannister said. “But my teammates said they had never seen anyone improve as much from my freshman year to my sophomore year.”
Bannister played for her high school team and played club volleyball after and before the high school season. She also plays beach volleyball.
“Beach volleyball is a lot different than high school volleyball. Your feet sink into the sad and makes it tougher to run and jump,” Bannister said. “The other big difference is that its only you and one teammate. In high school, you have five other teammates that can play the ball. In beach volleyball, either your teammate is going to hit the ball or you are. In some ways, it’s a simpler game.”
Volleyballmag.com announces its top 50 high school seniors each year in late February. This year, Taylor was one of eight players from Texas to make the list. Seven of the eight Texas players are from the Houston area. California had six players on the list, followed by Illinois with five and Minnesota and Iowa had four each. The list is voted on by a panel of NCAA Division I coaches.
“As an athlete, Taylor has surpassed everything that I have accomplished,” Pennie Bannister, Taylor’s mother, said.
Taylor was also named to the 2014 First Team TAPPS All-State, 2014 First Team All District TAPPS 4, and the 2014 Al-Tournament TAPPS 4A State Championship.
Taylor plans to attend Louisiana State University next fall on a volleyball scholarship.