“Be Both a Leader and a Team Player"
Eboni Taylor-Tue ’97, Basketball, Hall of Fame 2008 Inductee
On January 14, 1996, Eboni Taylor-Tue was in the zone. After scoring in a home conference game against Haverford, she recalls being startled when play suddenly stopped, her coach walked onto the court and an announcement was made.
“My teammates told me: ‘You just scored your 1,000th point!’ I was never one to check my stats at the end of a game, I just focused on winning,” she says. “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was so proud and so thankful for my teammates. But we still had a game to play, so I had to stay focused.”
An athletic late bloomer, Taylor-Tue’s basketball journey began when a high school coach, noticing her height, encouraged her to tryout. Despite a lack of experience, she made the JV team, worked hard, and after a few games, was promoted to varsity.
“I started to see myself differently. I became a basketball player,” she says. Recruited by Bullis School in Washington, D.C. for her junior and senior years, she was invited to visit Washington College, where coach Laneé Cole was recruiting players for an inaugural women’s basketball team.
“I didn’t know if Washington would be the right fit for me,” she says. “But that weekend, it felt right. I wanted to be part of building the program. My high school team had felt like a family, and I could see it would be the same at Washington. It just clicked.”
Though the team was just “OK” her freshman year, Taylor-Tue says a core group of original recruits stuck together, and the team improved each year. “It was exciting. We wanted people to know Washington College women’s basketball is here to stay!”
By the end of her senior season in 1997, Taylor-Tue’s numbers totaled a whopping 1,478 points and 1,103 rebounds—records that still stand.
Just as when she was playing, though, Taylor-Tue is less focused on the numbers than the experience. She appreciates the impact athletics had on her time at Washington and in her professional life.
“My experience taught me to be both a leader and a team player,” she says. “I’m not a point guard, I’m a center. I can’t dribble the ball like some of you. But if I do my job and you do yours, we can accomplish our goals together.”
The same mindset applies in her adult life, as a wife, mother, therapist in private practice, mentor for at-risk girls, and clinical counselor in mental and behavioral health at Washington College.
“In a family and in work, we need the whole system to work together,” she advises.
As for her legacy, the 2008 Hall of Fame Inductee nods her head to those who came before and those to come.
“I think about Title IX trailblazers and am so thankful they opened the door. And as an African-American, I’m thankful someone opened more doors,” she says. “We stood on the shoulders of others and now others can stand on ours. I hope girls look at my records and say, ‘I want to break that.' Please do! They’re there to be broken. Keep building. Break those records. Be great!”