James Taylor is the newest assistant boys basketball coach with the Trojans this year. The 29-year-old came to Pahrump from his home state of Utah to continue coaching.
Taylor is in his ninth year coaching basketball, with one year as a head coach.
“I started coaching because I just didn’t want my involvement with basketball to be over,” Taylor said. “I stopped playing my junior year because I got beat out by a guy that was 6 foot, 2 inches tall.”
Taylor said he still has a lot to offer the kids playing today and in Pahrump.
Taylor said he can relate to the Trojans players, a team that is outsized by most of the teams they play. At 5-foot, 8-inches, he was often outsized when he played the game.
Being on the short end of the spectrum in a tall man’s game got him thinking about what he had to do to guard taller athletes. This is something applicable to what the players in Pahrump face every gameplay.
“Leverage is key in a size disadvantage situation,” Taylor said. “I tell my players not to let players post in front of the basket. Move them off from the basket to make the distance greater and the shot harder.”
Taylor thinks the Trojans are getting better.
“In the early part of the season the guys wouldn’t engage the offense,” he said. “And now we are better at defending the basket. This all turned around after the Durango game.”
Despite the successes with the defense, Taylor characterizes himself as an offensive coach.
The team runs his offense and started doing this last year.
He said the success of the offense depends on how aggressive the guys become with it. He says the offense is team-oriented ball but it requires the boys to be aggressive. He said that’s a trait that can’t be taught.
Taylor left his assistant coaching job when he was 28 to be a head coach at a charter school in Utah.
“I do want to do the head coaching again,” Taylor said. “The timing in my life wasn’t right at the time for that job.”
So he came to Pahrump and likes being close to family. His father, Dr. Michael Taylor, coaches the freshmen squad for the Trojans and owns a business in town.
“It’s fun coaching with dad,” the coach said. “We bond and it’s nice to spend time with him. I haven’t lived around him in a long time.”
Taylor is currently studying to be a teacher and substitute teaches at the high school. He hopes to graduate next September. He also has coached football and helped the middle school this year.
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at email@example.com