Taylor's Road To NBA Came With Direction From Florida "Big Brother"

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 26: Tyshawn Taylor #10 of the Kansas Jayhawks brings the ball up the court against the Ohio Bobcats during the third round of the Las Vegas Invitational at The Orleans Arena November 26 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. Kansas won 98-41. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Like so many players who make the NBA, Tyshawn Taylor's road was filled with tight turns, reverses, a lot of broken pavement and, if they're lucky, someone who can give them directions. Brian Goff of the Tampa Bay Tribune explores how Taylor got those directions from Big Brothers, Big Sisters at age 9 and the debt he feels he owes the man who helped him.

Taylor, who had been born in Jersey City, moved to Florida at an early age. Times were tough. At one point, he, his mother and two sisters spent some time at a battered women's shelter.

It was around that time he met Tom Spencer who had just decided to become a Big Brother after selling a successful business.

Taylor told Spencer he wanted to play in the NBA. Spencer used that motivation to get his Little Brother to improve his grades and also helped Taylor get into his first organized basketball league. Taylor, who invited Spencer to his graduation from Kansas, calls the experience "Life changing. My Big Brother was the first one to see my passion. I’ll always be grateful to him for taking time out of his life and care for me. He didn’t have to do it."

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