Hungry Jack's NBL
Phoenix Add Steve Taylor Jr as Replacement Player
Steve Taylor Jr will replace Brandon Ashley in the South East Melbourne Phoenix line up for Saturday's game against the Brisbane Bullets.
Ashley arrives in Australia on Saturday and will likely make his debut on January 22 against the Illawarra Hawks.
Taylor Jr just happened to be in the right place at the right time. The 206cm American was in Australia visiting girlfriend Tiffany Mitchell, who is playing for the Melbourne Boomers in the WNBL.
Taylor Jr was originally only meant to stay for two weeks but a phone call with good friend and Phoenix player, Mitch Creek got him down to train with Phoenix.
His initial motivation was to stay in shape after his contract in Saudi Arabia ended.
“I had help from multiple great people to get me with Phoenix,” Taylor Jr said. “I absolutely love it here. Everything is professional and I love the group of guys.”
The power forward played college basketball for Marquette Golden Eagles and Toledo Rockets before heading overseas to play in France, Hungary, Turkey, and Italy.
Taylor Jr has been impressed with how the club operates and how hard everyone works towards a common goal.
“Everybody is hardworking and want to win, starting from the front office all the way down to the trainers and I’m really excited and willing to do whatever to help them get a win," he said. “It’s just a culture that I love to be around because I’m a hardworking player that’s willing to do everything in my power to win."
Phoenix CEO Tommy Greer mentioned in a recent interview with RSN Breakfast Club that due to Covid disruptions the NBL will now begin to feature very quick turnarounds for teams.
“It’s becoming clear that we will likely need extended rosters and replacement players as we navigate this season. Steve has been training with the team and we’re happy someone of his quality was available,” Phoenix CEO Tommy Greer said.
Taylor Jr thanked Phoenix for the opportunity to get on court and to help the side get the win against Brisbane on Saturday.
“Honestly I would like to thank Phoenix and their whole organization for even giving me that shot and opportunity to play and do the best I can to help them win this game.”