Big Brother's Advice Spurred Taylor

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 19: Tyshawn Taylor #10 of the Kansas Jayhawks watches during a free throw during the game against the Davidson Wildcats on December 19, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

In 1999, Tyshawn Taylor, age 9, was living in Tampa. He and his mother had moved there from Hoboken where he'd been born and where he'd eventually return for high school. Things weren't going well. He had recently spent a night with his mother and siblings in a battered women's shelter after his mother's boyfriend hit her.

A cousin recommended Big Brothers, Big Sisters to him and Tom Spencer was assigned him. Spencer remembers his first meeting with Taylor, when he asked what he wanted to do when he grew up. Taylor said: "I am going to play in the NBA.." Spencer advised a backup plan - getting his college degree.

As it turned out, Taylor got his college degree before he'll play in his first NBA game and Spencer was in Lawrence, Kansas for commencement. "My proudest day was May 13th of this year when Tyshawn graduated from the University of Kansas," Spencer said.

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