Optimists believe you don’t know what the future holds unless you take a shot.
In many cases, that’s easier said than done.
No matter how confident most of us think we are, there is always a little self-doubt.
We hate failure. Thick skin isn’t standard equipment.
Still, there are guys out there who will take that chance, sticking their toe in the pool to check the water.
Will Taylor became one of those guys.
Now you won’t get him out of the deep end.
If you ask him, the Williamsport native probably would admit he didn’t dive into his opportunity. During that period of his life, that chance may not have appeared without help.
To be honest, the instance that shaped Taylor’s future collided at the intersection of fate, fortune, luck and chance.
That’s when Taylor took his shot. In fact, he took many of them.
It started with a phone call from a friend. It ended with what might have been Taylor’s best-ever day on the basketball court — albeit unofficial and without statistics to prove any of it.
Taylor had been a gentle giant of a man playing for the Hagerstown Community College men’s basketball team. He was a talented high school player, but was percieved to lack aggressiveness on the court.
At 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, he had the physical tools to dominate, but came off as quiet and unassuming. His was a face that, although large, was still nothing more than a face in the crowd.
He had the persona of an introvert.
There’s nothing wrong with it. For some, that’s where the comfort zone lies.
Opportunity knocked — or in this case, rang — when Taylor’s HCC teammate Amaurys Fermin went to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo to sign a scholarship offer to play for the Mustangs.
Once there, Fermin called Taylor, putting all impending changes in motion.
“I answered and he put Coach (Joe) Callero on the phone,” Taylor said. “He told me he didn’t think I could play for him. I could probably rebound, but I couldn’t play full-time.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement, yet Taylor went to California to chase his version of a Hollywood dream. He made an unofficial visit on his own and played in front of Callero.
Parasiliti: Tailor-made leap of faith remade Taylor
Bob Parasiliti (Joe Crocetta / April 15, 2012)