Taylor Jacobs is not one to play for the spotlight or the recognition.
She is a team player, a student of the game and the classroom.
A Litchfield Park resident and a Canyon View High School junior, Jacobs is a two-sport athlete, playing softball and basketball for the Jaguars.
During the current basketball season, Taylor is averaging 7.3 points, six rebounds and one steal per game.
Success and commitment are nothing new to Taylor and her family. Taylor’s father, John Jacobs, played football and baseball professionally. A former pitcher for the Kansas City Royals affiliate, the GCL Royals, John is Canyon View’s softball head coach.
Taylor’s mother and Arizona Softball Foundation Hall of Fame member B’Ann Jacobs won two state titles with Phoenix’s Greenway High School and pitched for UCLA women’s softball team.
B’Ann and John have been strong influences for Taylor. Former MLB players like Raul Gonzalez and Mike Sweeney have also played important roles in Taylor’s athletic career.
“Taylor’s been very blessed to be around different people who are at the highest level,” John said. “The people she is able to be exposed to, that level (of playing in college) isn’t too big for her. It’s been in her DNA since she was born.”
Taylor was born in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and remains connected to UCLA and the city of Los Angeles. She said her family is inspired by Kobe Bryant.
“It’s all about the ‘Mamba’ mentality and the mental side of all sports,” Taylor said about Bryant, whose nickname was “Mamba.”
“Both your attitude and effort you give to the game are equally important. If you can control those two factors, you will be your best in the game. Kobe had a huge impact on my family as a role model. He reminded us to strive to be the best versions of ourselves every day.”
Taylor applies that mentality on and off the field. Her father said she is committed to preparing for college and focusing on studies in the classroom.
“One of our concerns was to make sure that she is well-prepared for college,” John said. “I’m extremely proud of the way Taylor has handled everything. One of the things she got from her mom is, you never know whether she is winning or losing. She’s about her business. It’s amazing (to see) the young lady that she is developing into.”
John said he has high expectations for Taylor as she heads into her senior year.
“The sports stuff is cool, but the academics is going to take her further,” John said. “That’s the one consistent. You have to be smart. Sports can come and go, but at the end of the day, the academics is what is going to make your life.”
Taylor continues to grow from listening to her parents’ advice as well as the wisdom from former MLB players and softball legends. All of these mentors will continue to shape her into a praiseworthy teammate.
“I love to play for the team,” Taylor said. “I do it for the others. I don’t like to have a lot of the spotlight. I’d rather have my girls by me, my teammates by my side whether it was a good game or a bad game.”