Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

March 26, 2014

Berrien’s Taylor selected for ABAC Hall of Fame

Marshall Taylor was only 5-foot-9, but the Berrien High product played much larger on the Abraham Baldwin Agricultual College basketball court.

For his heroics as a member of the Stallions’ 1980-82 basketball teams, Taylor has been named to the ABAC Athletics Hall of Fame 2014 class, where he is joined by Andrea Pate Willis and the 1993 state intercollegiate softball champions. Tickets are available for $30 for the induction dinner in Gressette Gym at 6 p.m. on April 4.

The event is part of the ABAC Homecoming week activities, and for the first time, the Hall of Fame ceremony will be part of the alumni awards ceremony.

Taylor scored 25 points for coach Donnie Veal’s Stallions when they held off Gainesville 67-66 to win the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XVII championship in Gressette Gym on March 6, 1982. The Berrien graduate from Enigma was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.  

Taylor averaged 13.8 points per game during his sophomore campaign to lead the Stallions to a 25-5 overall record and the state title. At one point during the season, ABAC won 17 consecutive games.  Taylor’s season high was a 29-point effort in an 83-79 win against DeKalb South when he hit 17 of 19 free throws.

The victory marked the first state championship in basketball for ABAC since 1964. In the first round of the national tournament in Lake City, Fla., the Stallions lost to Miami-Dade North 56-54.  Miami-Dade North was 29-0 at the time and ranked No. 1 in the nation.  Led by future Georgia Tech star Yvon Joseph, Miami-Dade-North went on to finish second in the national tournament.

Through his first 16 games as a freshman, Taylor averaged 21.1 points a game, shooting 60 percent from the field and 86 percent from the free throw line. He scored 42 points in a 104-90 win for the Stallions against Georgia Military, connecting on 18 of 19 free throws. The Stallions wound up 16-12 during Taylor’s freshman year, and he finished second in the Player of the Year balloting.

After completing his ABAC career, Taylor played for Georgia Southwestern where he was an NAIA All-America selection in 1985, an NAIA honorable mention All-America selection in 1984, and the NAIA District 25 Player of the Year in 1984 and 1985. He was the Hurricanes’ leading scorer during his two years in Americus and led Georgia Southwestern to its first national tournament berth in 1985. He was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame at Georgia Southwestern in 1996.

At Berrien High, Taylor came off the bench as a junior to average nine points a game and help coach Clay Clark’s Rebels compile a 28-1 record and a trip to the state finals. As a senior, Taylor averaged 18 points and eight assists a game to guide the team to the state semifinals.

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