Special needs student surprises everyone on the basketball court

By Mandy Mitchell - bio | email

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - It was a simple basket during a Lexington High School girls junior varsity game two weeks ago, but for the young lady who took the shot, it's worth way more than two points.

When Taylor Abston went to her father and told him she wanted to try out for basketball, he was a little hesitant. Like most fathers, he is protective. But Taylor not only made the team, she is making an impact.

Cheering is not usually a part of pre game warmups, but Taylor Abston is not the usual. With a wave, she shows you she loves every second of this game. "It's my favorite sport," said Abston.

"She is the spirit of this team," added Coach Nikki Howell.

Taylor is a special needs student at Lexington High School, and a guard on the JV girls basketball team. "She came to me and said I want to try out for basketball," said Taylor's father, Robert. "I thought maybe they would give her a job as a team manager or something, but she's got talent."

And a contagious smile. Plenty reason for the coach to give her a jersey and a chance. "Taylor has a great passion for the game," said Howell. "It reflects on the school and the girls."

"She is awesome with dribbling under her legs," said teammate Kathleen Whitesides. "She will come to practice and say 'hey coach, watch this.'"

But it was something she did in a game two weeks ago that had the entire gym on its feet. Taylor, who is a backup and sees very little playing time, got into the game and scored.

"It was a long outlet pass," described Howell.

"She practices quite a bit, so she just shot it up and everyone went crazy," added Robert.

"It was amazing," said Whitesides. "The whole crowd just jumped up and said 'go Taylor.'"

"It was awesome," smiled Abston. "I make it, I make coach happy."

Even happier than coach was dad.

"I never thought for a second she would ever get into a game, let alone score," said Robert.

That is not the end of this story. The very next game, Taylor did it again -- a basket worth far more than two points.

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