One Step at a Time:

Terri Taylor's Northwestern Career

By Josh Walfish

When Terri Taylor came to Northwestern, she never could have imagined the adversity she would have to overcome. Four foot injuries kept the senior out of uniform until February 10 when she finally had the opportunity to put on the purple and white in a game. Throughout her struggles, Taylor has persevered and was elected captain of this year's squad despite playing only 19 minutes for the team in her first three years. She is healthy for the start of a season for the first time in her career and she is ready to make the most of her golden chance to play Division I basketball.

Photo courtesy of Stephen J. Carrera / Northwestern Athletics

Terri Taylor's Injury History

Taylor did not make it through a full practice as a freshman before breaking a bone in her foot. The injury stalled most of the progress she was making while adjusting to the college life and she was forced to take a redshirt season. She said the toughest part of the entire process was the mental aspect of trying to push through each day. Taylor was on crutches for most of her first quarter at Northwestern and she admitted it took a toll on her mentally. However, she found a new role on the team off the court and tried to absorb as much information as she could while cheering on her teammates from the bench. The Wildcats had a lot of success that season, finishing 19-14 and earning a bid into the Women's NIT where they lost in the second round.

Sophomore year lasted a bit longer for Taylor, but she still did not see the court. With about a week to go before Northwestern’s first exhibition game of the new season, Taylor ruptured her plantar fascia, which would have sidelined her for three or four weeks. However, she re-fractured her foot while rehabbing from the plantar fascia injury and sophomore year was officially over for Taylor. She said it was extremely frustrating for her to keep having setbacks in the recovery process and it tested her commitment to basketball and the team. Yet, she persevered and found her role on the team, which finished 14-16 and missed the postseason.

Taylor sat on the bench for 86 games with various foot problems before she finally played a game for Northwestern. Her junior season was marred by a torn Achilles she suffered during the offseason, but she was able to return in February for her first game action. In that memorable 87th game, Taylor came in for a minute and was tasked with defending the opponent’s best player. Taylor didn’t score her first point until her sixth game back and it proved to be her only point of the season. Northwestern struggled with other injuries throughout the season and ended the year with a 13-17 record and once again missed out on postseason basketball.

Senior year has started out well for Taylor thus far, having appeared in six of Northwestern’s seven games. She was also named a team captain before the season and has shown her leadership on the court, particularly running the offense as a point guard. She said she doesn’t think about getting hurt again and instead focuses on just playing basketball to the best of her ability. It is the reason why she is unsure if she will use her fifth year of eligibility at the end of this season, saying the decision-making process is fluid. The Wildcats are off to a 6-1 start this season with an influx of young talent and Taylor is happy to have earned their trust after everything she’s been through off the court.