‘Lead with a good example’: Cold Springs’ Malaya Taylor preparing for junior season

Cold Springs' Malaya Taylor. (Bill Piper/The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. — Cold Springs put a very young, but very talented team on the court last season and they put together a solid run before falling in the area tournament to Addison. Now, the Lady Eagles are preparing for a new season starting this fall. Junior Malaya Taylor has had a lot of fun playing with this team the past two seasons and she has learned a lot during her time playing with the varsity.

“I absolutely love playing with this team and I love every memory that we get to create. Most of us have been playing together since we were in elementary school, and it has just been amazing growing up with them and doing what we love together. It is very fun,” Taylor said. “These past two seasons have been nothing but incredible. While playing on this team, I have learned a lot. They have definitely taught me the value of teamwork and always staying positive. I have mentally and physically become a better person and there’s no doubt in my mind that they have my back through anything.”

Like the rest of her teammates, Malaya has been working a lot to add to her game this offseason.

“Over the years, I have always strived to be better than the year before. I hope to continue working hard and improving my game for these upcoming seasons,” Taylor said. “I am working on improving my entire game. I believe that you can always get better at anything, you just have to be willing to work for it. I am currently working to improve my shot and post moves around the basket as well as my defensive game.”

Malaya and the rest of the team were excited to see Maci Brown join them this offseason. They have known each other for years before Brown joined the team and Taylor is looking forward to being on the court with her.

“The team was definitely excited to have Maci playing with us. I have known Maci for years and she has always been an amazing basketball player. Maci is very hardworking and is very good at seeing the floor,” Taylor said. “She communicates very well and is a lockdown defender. She knows how to create shots and how to move the ball. I am very excited to play with her this season.”

Malaya has played for Head coach Tammy West for a few years and has learned so much from her on and off the court.

“I have played for Coach West for a few years now and it has been amazing. She has taught me so much throughout the years. She has taught me that in order to achieve greatness, you have to be able to surrender the me for the we,” Taylor said. “You have to be willing to put in the work to not only better yourself but be better for your team. She knows the game so well and teaches us something new every day. She has always taught us to have good sportsmanship and be respectful of others. If someone falls, help them up, even if it’s the opposing team. She wants us to be leaders, not only on the court, but also in the classroom. She wants us all to always work hard and try to get a little bit better at anything we do.” 

Malaya learned so many things from the upperclassmen and will look to teach the younger players the same things that she was taught in the previous years.

“I have always looked up to the upperclassmen on the team. They all have taught me something new over the years. They have taught me to set my goals and not to stop until I achieve them,” Taylor said. “They have taught me to always stay positive on and off the court and always encourage my teammates. Even if you’re not playing a lot or you’re having a bad game, it is always best to let it go and continue to cheer on your team. The more positivity and determination you have on a team, the better your team will be. You have to have a positive and willing mindset to achieve excellence on a team.”

She added,

“It is always important to lead with a good example. I want the underclassmen to learn from us what I learned from the previous underclassmen. I want them to always be open to a positive mindset and always be willing to work hard. I want them to be able to have high expectations and goals for their teams and futures. I want them to be able to achieve their goals and push themselves past their limits. Achieve what they didn’t know they could.”

The Lady Eagles have high expectations for themselves this upcoming season and Malaya can’t wait to see what all they will achieve starting in November.

“We definitely have very high expectations for this upcoming season. Our goal is to make it to the county championship and to Birmingham,” Taylor said. “We definitely have more experience this upcoming season and we know that we will have to work hard. We are working hard every day on becoming a better team. I’m very excited to see what we will achieve this season.”

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