Sheika Taylor was one of the players that helped lay the groundwork for the success of Belmont's women's basketball program in the Division I era. A letterwinner from 1996-2000, Taylor played in 111 games and started 67 of them. The Springfield, Tennessee native led the team in assists for three seasons and paced the squad in three point shooting her senior season. She helped her team to 75 wins over four seasons and was named an Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar in 2000.
Sheika recently spoke to BelmontBruins.com about her time at Belmont and present life in her hometown of Springfield.
Why did you choose Belmont?
I loved the campus and it was close to home, which made it easier for my mom to come to home games. In addition, I lived on the same street as Belmont all star Chrissie Herring and I looked up to her. She influenced my decision in a major way.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
I remember Coach Cross challenging the incredible vertical leap I had. He put me 5'5 up to jump ball against a 6' tall player. I won the tip and i was the point guard. I remember hearing everyone in that gym gasp with surprise. LOL. I felt bigger than life at that very moment. There were a lot of great moments throughout my career.
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont and how?
Donna Brown. She always reminded me to believe in myself. She always gave me positive feedback in every area of my life. She lifted me up. I am very grateful for her.
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
That the world is bigger than just Tennessee. Traveling has been invaluable. As a kid I couldn't see further than the street I grew up on. Going on mission trips opened my eyes to some truly amazing sites.
What advice would you give to current members of the basketball team?
Appreciate and enjoy the people around you. Help others, be honest and work hard.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Dan Johnson. Dan really took to heart my efforts on and off the court. He always encouraged me and pushed me in my field of study to show a different perspective. He was like family away from home. Now I keep in contact with him and he is always willing to mentor or advise me.
Where do you live now?
My hometown, Springfield, TN
What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
I am a designer/entreprenuer. I do graphic design and fashion design. I've invented a specialty athletic undergarment (Uniquez). Follow my progress on @getuniquez .
I also work for Robertson County Sheriffs Office. I am Corporal of the School Resource and Community division. I serve as law enforcement and training officer at my alma mater Springfield High School. I do my best to advise, encourage and inspire youth to make good life choices.
Tell us about your family.
No children. Lots of nieces and nephews. I spend a lot of time with family and friends.