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Monday, January 2, 2006

Remember "Mad Libs"?

The writing game where you'd fill in the blanks with offbeat or off-the-beaten-track words to create wacky stories?
2002 NCAA tournament college basketball star has "minor brushes with law" and tries unsuccessfully to "get drafted into the NBA." Gets girlfriend pregnant.                                     

They have abortion.
Right?

Wrong.

And even when she dies a month before her due date after unsuccessful surgery to remove "a blood clot lodged in her brain," he enrolls in another college to finish his degree, resumes playing basketball for their Purple Knights team, and raises his infant son:
Every morning, Terrell Taylor is up with the sun. There is an 8-month-old to clean, change, dress and, most importantly, feed. And when little Terrell Jr. is finally ready to go, Terrell Sr. bundles him up and heads over to Sarah Bland's home and drops Terrell Jr. off while he goes to class.

On many days, Terrell Sr. will pick up Terrell Jr. around 2:30 p.m., after his classes are over at the University of Bridgeport. He will spend the next three or four hours balancing studying and keeping close tabs on his son before making him dinner and then heading over to his mother Audrey's home in the North End, so he can drop off Terrell Jr. and head down to UB again for basketball practice. Around 11 p.m., he's back at Audrey's to pick up little Terrell and go home to his apartment on Park Avenue, putting his son, and himself, to bed.

The next morning, the cycle starts all over again.

But you know what? Terrell Taylor wouldn't change it for anything in the world. He is a father, a student and a basketball player — in that order — and each day that he wakes up and sees little Terrell smiling at him is a good day.

"There's always something to do. It's tough, but it's something I do gladly," Taylor said. "It seems hard but it's very rewarding to me."
Many thanks to Connecticut Post sports writer Christopher Elsberry for telling us of this great young man.

Prayers for Velly Rivera, Terrell Taylor Sr. and Terrell Jr., too.

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