DePrice Taylor is a name familiar to fans of Pittsburg State University women’s basketball. The Detroit native was one of the first players former head coach Lane Lord brought with him in 2008 from Barton County Community College after being tabbed to lead the Gorillas’ basketball program.

“DePrice is probably the number one success story in my 23 years of coaching,” said Lord. “Not just because of what she did on the court, but because of what she had to overcome to get there, and what she’s accomplished since she left.”

The 5′ 8″ guard, who averaged just over 11 points per game and earned First Team All-MIAA honors, was instrumental in helping Lord build one of NCAA Division II’s most successful women’s basketball programs.   

“Coming from Detroit to Pittsburg, Kansas is definitely a culture shock,” said Taylor. “But I can honestly say those were some of the best years of my life. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science and stayed on as graduate assistant which allowed me to earn my Master’s Degree in Sports and Recreation Management.”

Upon graduation, Taylor wasn’t certain what she wanted to do for her career. So, she reverted to what she had enjoyed while on the basketball court: helping others succeed.

She found her calling while working for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dundee Township in Illinois. Now an Area Director with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Taylor oversees the daily operations, staffing, programs and activities for nearly 250 children at the Hawthorne and Independence Units.

“The Boys & Girls Club is the premiere organization for youth,” said Taylor. “Our programs help prepare kids for success once they graduate high school. In fact, that’s our strategic vision. To make sure that 100 percent of our kids graduate high school and have some kind of post-secondary plan. Whether that’s directly into the workforce, into college, or identifying a trade.”

The Detroit native is proud of her time spent on the court for Pitt State, but even more so of the university and community that adopted her as one of its own.

“I have a big picture in my office of us playing KU at Allen Fieldhouse,” said Taylor. “When kids come in they ask, ‘You went to Pitt State?’. I’m excited to take a group of teens there this summer to see the university and the community. It’s a special place. I’m forever indebted to Coach Lord, Coach Davied and the university. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”