Shaw continues to shine for the Wildcats


Taylor Shaw, a senior on the women’s basketball team, is a fighting force and a major part of the team.

Bryce Weedman, Staff Reporter

If you don’t know who Taylor Shaw is, then get to know the name. Shaw is the shooting guard for CWU’s women’s basketball team and she is having a stand out year for the Lady Wildcats. Shaw, a 5-foot-8 threat from outside the 3-point line, is having her best year yet, and the Wildcats are off to a great start too. The Wildcats are 11-4 overall and 6-2 in their conference and in third place in the GNAC this year, in part because of Shaw’s performance. Shaw put up 28 points against Stanislaus State back in November, 21 of those points coming from the three ball. Shaw has averaged 31.4 minutes per game, 40 percent from the field, 34 percent from 3-point range and she is hitting 83 percent of her free throws.

“Our goal is to get back to Regionals, either by winning our conference or winning the GNAC tournament, because it’s been awhile,” Shaw said.

Growing up in Oregon City, Oregon, Shaw played  high school ball at Oregon City High School. Oregon City high is known for their dominance in women’s basketball, winning 13 district championships and three state championships, adding in a handful of runner up finishes along the way. Brad Smith, the most winningest head coach for women’s basketball at Oregon City, was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Shaw was a part of the 2014 Championship and helped lead the Pioneers to the promised land. She  was an all-state team honorable mention her sophomore year, a second team all-state player her junior year and was a first team all-state player her senior year.

A standout performance in High School got her noticed by a handful of GNAC colleges, including Western Oregon University, Humboldt State University and finally CWU. Shaw went on trips to visit every school that was offering her a scholarship, CWU being the last school she visited. Shaw was set on committing to play for Humboldt State University, but head coach Randi Richardson-Thornley, then assistant coach, saw potential in Shaw’s shooting ability that maybe some other coaches didn’t.

“Randi was a huge part of getting me to come here, and I loved all the girls on the team,” Shaw said. “I don’t know what it was, but I just knew the second I visited Central that this was the school for me.”

Shaw believes that Richardson-Thornley has played a big role in her success at CWU, and it’s largely in part of Richardson-Thornley’s age.

“She can relate to us better because she is a younger coach, so she understands us better,” Shaw said.

Shaw grew up an older sister and said that her parents are the two people that she looks up to, and that they have supported her along the way, always being there for her whenever she needed support. Shaw comes from a line of athletes. Her father was a college football player who spent his career at Washington State University and then pursued a career in the AFL (Arena Football League). Shaw definitely got her height from her father’s side of the family as she was actually one of the tallest girls all the way from sixth grade to her senior year at Oregon City.

What most people do not know about Shaw is that she was a power forward all through high school, being one of the taller girls on the court. This worked for her, but when her coach told her she had a great jump shot and to start trusting it, Shaw decided to listen. When Shaw made the transition from high school to college, she found that she was no longer considered a taller girl on the court and had to make a second transition in basketball to shooting guard.

“I never even shot a 3-pointer in my life until my senior year of high school,” Shaw said. “I was terrified, but they did see that I had a really good outside shot.”

Shaw has had some great experiences in her life, one of the most prominent being the team trip that CWU took to Europe this past summer. CWU was able to match up against semi pro women’s teams from Europe in three games, only winning one of the three, but finding out that the team had a lot to build on and a lot to be optimistic about.

Shaw enjoys the girls on her team. Her go to girl and best friend is guard Sadie Mensing, and she actually lives with a lot of her fellow teammates. You can catch Shaw mainly listening to country music, but she likes everything. If she could be a player for one day, she would be Klay Thompson, the shooting guard for the Golden state Warriors and growing up, one of her favorite singers was Kesha. If you’re wondering what Shaw’s nickname is, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

“People call me Shaw, I wonder sometimes if people know my first name,” Shaw said.

Currently a junior, majoring in Event Management, Shaw loves planning events for sports. If she could plan events for any sport, it would be football because she’s a huge fan of football. Shaw doesn’t really know what’s next for her at the moment, but she’s considering grad school at the University of Washington.

“I like to get good grades and I take my grades really seriously,” Shaw said.

Whatever is next for Shaw, she believes she’ll do well at it because you get out what you put in. You can see Shaw on the court for the Wildcats next at Tomlinson stadium on Jan. 31 vs. Concordia University.