Eugene, OR. -- Ruthy Hebard, Satou Sabally and Sabrina Ionescu. Those are three household names in the state of Oregon and the realm of women’s college basketball. But there’s another star in the making. She goes by the name of Taylor Chavez.
“I’m excited to be apart of program and find ways to contribute,” said Chavez. It’s definitely different than high school. But I like it a lot better because I get to play with all high caliber players.”
The 5-foot-10 freshman guard officially joined the Oregon family in the fall of 2017. And through 26 games this season, she’s been a spark, tallying 31 steals, 41 assists and 117 points.
“She comes in everyday and gives us a lift and energy off the bench,” said Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu. “And that’s what she’s going to continue to do to help us win.”
The Arizona native caught the attention of head coach Kelly Graves back in high school when she was on the same court, competing against the Oregon triple-double queen.
“It was a heck of a battle between those two,” said Oregon head coach Kelly Graves. “And anybody who can go toe-to-toe with Sabrina in that kind of a setting, two years younger, says a lot about who she is.”
Now Taylor and Sabrina are bonded by the green and yellow stitching of the Oregon jersey. And the connection has developed into a learning experience for the freshman guard.
“Sabrina and Maite are really good floor leaders,” said Chavez. “I always ask them for feedback. Just every detail of my game that I can ask them about, I’m asking them about.”
There’s no question Chavez’s skill level has followed her to Eugene. She’s a two-time high school 6A state champion and a two-time Arizona state player of the year. And with the way the Oregon Ducks have been playing this season, she has an opportunity to be a college national champion by the end of March.
“Having that sort of pressure that I had in high school prepared me a little bit in what’s to come here. And I think we definitely have the talent and everything we need to get there. I’m excited to see how we’ll end up.”