Megan Taylor is poised to be inducted into the Iowa State Athletics Hall of Fame tonight. Taylor started every game of her career and finished with school records in field goals made, 3-pointers made and 3-point attempts. She also ranked in the top-10 of 12 of 17 statistical categories. Taylor was a four-time all-conference performer and remains Iowa State’s only Big 12 Freshman of the Year (1998). Taylor closed her career with 1,866 career points and 966 rebounds, while earning All-America recognition from two publications. Taylor is one of four Cyclones to have her jersey retired (2005). We sat down with Taylor to talk about her career with the Cyclones and what it means to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Q: Why did you make the decision to come to Iowa State?
A: Small town, rural Minnesota, and obviously basketball was my life, but I don’t really think I was ever truly prepared for the recruitment process. I didn’t really have any idea, even though I had older brothers that went through it, I still didn’t have any idea what it was going to be like, and I was overwhelmed with the process really. I chose Iowa State because it just felt right and I’m somebody who goes off of emotions and feelings more than others. I just felt really comfortable with the coaches. I felt really comfortable with the situation, and that’s the biggest reason I went to Iowa State. Also, if you remember, they didn’t have a lot of players back then. I think they had seven people on the team, and they had to recruit walk-ons so that we had enough to practice. I wanted to play. I didn’t necessarily want to start, but I wanted to play somewhere instead of sitting on the bench. So that was another reason I knew there would be an opportunity for me to come in, potentially, if I performed right from the beginning.
Q: What does being in the Hall of Fame mean to you?
A: It’s an honor. It’s so incredibly humbling and rewarding. Honestly, I think it’s weird to be honored for something that’s been kind of given to me. I feel like I’ve been given so much just being a part of Iowa State, the community, and to be honored for something is kind of bizarre to me like that, but honestly I’m very honored and looking forward to Friday and the weekend ahead.
Q: You guys won championships. What does it mean to you to be remembered as a champion, to have that as a part of your legacy?
A: That’s a hard question. It’s cool. You always want to be successful at whatever you put a lot of effort into. But I think more importantly it’s the relationships I look back on fondly. I mean, obviously it helps that we won some games, and we won some championships, because those are memories I will take with me and never forget, but really it’s more about the relationships than the wins and losses.
A: He’s the other reason I really chose Iowa State, I kind of knew right away. I didn’t want to start, but I wanted to play, and I think we had like seven girls on our team, and we had recruit walk-ons, so that was another reason. And it worked because I think me and Stacy had averaged like 38 minutes a game. There just weren’t a lot of people on the team.
He’s awesome, I love him. I loved playing for him. He’s an intense guy, but we have to play with some other teams too, and their coaches seem super intense, so I feel coaches are intense.
Q: What is something you learned from Coach Fennelly that you still take with you?
A: We came in early, we were on time for him, and if we weren’t 10 minutes early, we were late, and I think that’s probably the biggest thing I look back at now. It’s such a disrespectful thing to waste someone else’s time to be late, and he always, always, always made sure that we were on time.
Q: What was it like playing at Hilton?
A: It was awesome! It was great! It is what it looks like it would be with that many fans who are passionate about women’s basketball, especially my freshman year seeing 5,000 people at the Iowa game and all the way up to 13,000 maybe my senior year. To see that, it gives me goosebumps.
A: The biggest thing about Iowa State is the relationships. The relationships I built are No. 1. Coach Fennelly would always say it’s a basketball family, and that’s the truth. I’m still in contact with all the people I played with. There are so many on-court memories, I always thought the Big 12 Tournament was so much fun, and the tournament we won in Kansas City with the men, was so much fun. When we won back-to-back the second year, nobody really expected us to win and that was so much fun. But just the environment and the atmosphere in Kansas City was great.
Q: What are you up to now?
A: So right now I’m living in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines, and I work for Educational Technology Company. It’s quite new, and I’ve only been doing that for three months. We provide new technology for critical life skills and set them up in classrooms. I work from home, which is pretty cool. I am also married with two kids.
Q: Do you come up for a lot of games still?
A: Not enough. We try to go up when others girls are there like Stacy Frese or Sarah Robson. We try to get together for at least one, and we bring our kids. So I don’t come to enough, which is crazy since I only live like 45 minutes away.