Glen Burnie girls basketball coach Dan Mangum calls Jessica Taylor a "great kid with a great attitude, the perfect team captain."
Taylor is a 5-foot-8 senior guard on the Gophers' 10-7 team. She is a leader both vocally and by example, and one who appreciates the intangibles and what they mean to winning.
An All-County selection in volleyball as an outside hitter, Taylor has drawn interest from UMBC for basketball. She has a 3.54 grade point average and is the historian for the school's National Honor Society.
Taylor will be the fourth in her family to graduate from Glen Burnie. She plans to major in physical education in college and eventually coach basketball.
What piqued your interest in becoming a coach?
Coach Mangum. I want to be a coach after being around him during high school. I've observed his passion for what he does and decided that's what I want to do.
How long have you been a team captain?
For two years. Coach Mangum picked me because he said I was mature and all that jazz. I have to help keep everybody up and everybody together. And this season, I think we have the best team chemistry of any team I've been on.
Do you hope to eventually teach physical education?
Possibly, but I want to teach math or English and coach. I really like math. Algebra I can do all day, but geometry I can't stand. Have you done any coaching?
Over the summer, I've coached 8-and-under girls and really enjoyed it. When did you start playing basketball?
I started playing basketball at age 8, and I played [Amateur Athletic Union] in seventh grade but hated it. I didn't play in eighth grade, but when I got to high school, I started playing again and am glad I did. I did not want to regret not playing. What does the historian for the NHS do?
Take photos around school and help organize tutoring. Do you do anything different in getting ready for your games?
I started wearing two pairs of socks. The inside pair is black and the outside is white. I didn't want to wear two pairs of the same color. What kind of music do you like?
I like R&B, rap, hip-hop and a mix of hip-hop and rock like we play before our games. What do you watch on TV and the movies? My favorite movie is Love & Basketball. When I watch TV, I pretty much watch basketball and football. What do you and your friends like to do away from sports?
We like to go bowling and have sleepovers, go to the mall, things like that.