West retires Hall’s No. 1 jersey
Morristown West retired the No. 1 jersey of former basketball standout Taylor Hall, second from left, during a ceremony Friday night at the the school. Hall is a former Miss Basketball award winner and is currently playing for the Chattanooga Lady Mocs. Pictured with Hall are West head coach Johnny Galyon and West assistant coach Heather Kelley.
Morristown West welcomed back on of the greatest players to wear a Lady Trojans basketball jersey Friday night and retired the number she wore while leading West to new heights.
Taylor Hall, now a senior on the Chattanooga women’s team, had her No. 1 retired by the school in a ceremony between varsity contests against cross-town rival Morristown East.
The gesture of retiring Hall’s number seemed appropriate, given no player has worn that number since Hall graduated in 2010. Now the number will never be worn again, as she joins Rod Walker (baseball) and James ‘Little Man’ Stewart (football) as the only athletes at West to have their numbers retired.
Hall said after the ceremony that it was difficult to say just how honored, humbled and thankful she was for what the school, administration and the coaching staff at West had done for her.
“It’s kind of hard to put into words how thankful I am for this,” Hall said. “The two years I spent here were great, and I’m blessed to have this honor.”
Hall said it was appropriate the honor came on a night West was hosting East, as she had some of the best games of her prep career against the Lady Hurricanes.
“I’ll never forget those games, just the rivalry and it seemed like everybody in town was there,” Hall said. “Those were some good times. They were some of the highlights of my basketball career. I really enjoyed my time here.”
West coach Johnny Galyon said the 2009-10 squad on which Hall was a senior was the best team he has coached, and Hall helped guide that team to a state runners-up finish in Murfreesboro.
“Taylor is special, and once in a lifetime you get to coach a player like her,” Galyon said. “I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to coach her, and hopefully she got something out of coming through here and spending two years with us. She brought us to new heights, and that 2009-10 team was pretty special.”
During her two years at West, Hall amassed numerous individual honors, including two All-State honors, a runners-up finish for Miss Basketball in 2009 and the Miss Basketball award her senior season. She was also a two-time Citizen Tribune All-Lakeway Area Player of the Year, as well as the top player in the district and region both seasons.
“She won the ultimate individual awards as a high school basketball player,” Galyon said. “She won Miss Basketball for Class AAA and followed that up with the Gatorade Player of the Year award. We had to retire her jersey, it was just a matter of when we would do it. I give Mike Reed and our administration, Dr. Jeff Moorhouse and his staff all the credit for making this thing happen.”
Hall recently set a new career-high in points with 25 last week in a contest for UTC, and that game helped push her over the 1,000 career points plateau.
With now less than a month left in her final season, Hall said it will be difficult to walk away from the game.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Hall said. “I think about how I’m tired of basketball sometimes, but I’ve never lived without it. I don’t know how that is really going to affect me. This is very humbling. I had no idea when Mr. Reed called me to tell me they were doing this, and I can’t really put it into words what I’m feeling. I’m just very thankful.”
-By Matt Daniels, Tribune Sports Editor