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La’Shay Taft

She rocks the flyest hairstyles on and off the court. She’s #4 on the court, but #1 in our hearts. Whether you’ve seen her play or not, we are honored to introduce you to Syracuse Women’s Basketball guard, La’Shay Taft.

So, you’ve been playing for Syracuse for four years…Can you describe your experience with the Orange?

Uh, the experience. I would kind of say up and down. I’ve had good moments and bad moments, but for the most part, you know, I think it’s been a great experience. It’s something I’ve always looked forward to, you know: growing up and playing college basketball. I can definitely say I’m blessed.

 

Has Syracuse always been the school you wanted to go to? Why did you choose to go to ‘Cuse?

I can say that Syracuse has not always been the school I wanted to go to. North Carolina actually was one of my dream schools growing up, but I chose Syracuse because I had a great visit when I came up. We play a 2-3 zone and are very guard-oriented, so a lot of the guards play. And then I also had a great relationship with Coach Q; he looked out for me a lot, you know. He stayed in contact and he showed a big interest. 

 

In your four years playing, what do you think has been your biggest achievement both on and off the court?

Off the court, one of my biggest achievements will be that I’m about to graduate. But on the court, going to the NCAA tournament back to back because it hasn’t been done before. We’re making history for the most part, my class.

 

Is there anything other than basketball that you would liked to have played or liked to have been involved with?

To be honest, I would have wanted to join a sorority or something like that or a different organization that the campus has to offer, but it’s kind of hard because we don’t have that much time to do so so much.

 

 

When did you start playing basketball? When did you know that this was your sport?

I started playing basketball when I was in the fourth grade and it was NOT a good experience at all.  I remember I played for Pimlico Elementary back in Baltimore. My first game, the coach didn’t put me in until like 5, 6 seconds of the last quarter and I was heartbroken, I was crying, I couldn’t believe it. But for some reason I just stuck with it and I continued to play, continued to play outside of the boys, and it just started getting better for me. I kept advancing and I figured this is definitely something I should do, so I stuck with it. So it’s been since I was 10 years old.

 

Being a full time athlete and a full time student is very time consuming. How do you manage to keep up with your social life, go to practice, keep up with your studies, and still be awake?

Because I’ve been here for 4 years, I’ve learned to pretty much manage different things, have a social life and have my studies in order. Basketball takes up a lot of time. When I first got here it was very very hard. It was a crazy transition, you know. It was a hard transition from high school because it was totally different, but as the years went by, I learned how to go about things; I could fit in time for this and that, but it definitely takes some time.

What are your plans for basketball in the future?

You know, I don’t know. It’s up to God, whatever he blesses me with. But I definitely look forward to going overseas. So hopefully, you know, my dream comes true.

 

What is your “wild, out of this world” dream job?

Let me see…I dream about a lot of things and working a lot of places.  I don’t think I have one at the moment. But I could definitely say at one point I wanted to be a basketball coach, I wanted to be a recruiting coach, I wanted to work within transportation, I wanted to be a construction worker… I wanted to do a lot, but the list can definitely go on. That’s why I try out a lot of different things. But as far as out of this world dream job, yeah I don’t think I have one.

 

Where do you see yourself in the next 20 years?

Probably being a coach. Definitely being a coach at a college or something.

 

Who’s your idol?

If we’re talking basketball…Lebron James. I loooove everything about his game and I think he’s really really good. I’m just hoping I get a chance to meet him one day so that I can tell him that I love his game.

 

So your jersey number is 4. Why did you choose that number?

Number 4 is definitely one of my favorite numbers. I’ve been wearing 4 since I started playing basketball back when I was in high school. So it’s been about 8 years.  I figured I’d stick with it. It’s been doing me justice.

 

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