(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Taylor, a 6-foot-3 high-scoring guard, has had an outstanding high school career for the Mustangs, and announced his decision among family, friends, and fellow students at BIC.
Taylor said he liked what he saw while visiting South Alabama and is looking forward to playing for Coach John Pelphrey.
"Coach Pelphrey played for the University of Kentucky and is a former Mr. Basketball winner in Kentucky and has his jersey retired," Taylor said. "Like me, he grew up in a small town. I think he will be good for me and help me reach my potential."
Taylor has had several college offers. He said it was a big decision to go to South Alabama, with an enrollment of over 14,000.
Taylor gave his teammates credit for his successes on the basketball court.
"My teammates are great. Every time you see me have a great game, my teammates are the reason," Taylor said. "If it was not for them, I would not have scored 50 points in a game. When I have an off night, they pick up the slack."
BIC Lady Mustang coach Mike Kinard welcomed guests and spoke briefly before the signing.
"Our own Brooks Taylor will sign a NCAA National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the University of South Alabama Jaguars," Kinard said.
"Family, friends, students, administration and staff at Buffalo Island Central, members of the media, and fans: you all have helped Brooks on this journey. Today we are together to recognize and celebrate a distinguished high school basketball career filled with individual awards and team success. Brooks is most proud of the State Championship he's helping his team defend this season."
Coach Kinard pointed out that Brooks and his teammates have not lost a conference game or a home game.
"Behind every individual accomplishment in every area of life is a team. In basketball, they are teammates, coaches, and fans," Kinard said. "Whether it a mom's hug, a dad's encouragement, a teammate's nice bounce pass on Brooks' backdoor cut, or 100 percent effort against him in practice, the team is essential.
"Today, really is about the amazing results when God-given talent matches up with a person's desire, passion and work ethic. Everyone -- all of us -- has something to offer, plenty to offer our families, our communities, our neighbors, and our line of work. If we didn't, we wouldn't be here. We wouldn't be blessed with this life and the people we share it with."
Kinard wished Brooks well in his pursuits.
"Hopefully, he can be an inspiration to each of us," Kinard said. "Brooks is quick with a handshake or a high five, a yes ma'am, or no sir. I've seen him work one-on-one to help a 10-year-old learn the game. I've also seen him delay a pick-up game to have a conversation with a two-year-old that looks up to him. May all kids learn these things, like Brooks, that make parents and grandparents proud.
"We are fortunate to be part of this with Brooks, but the University of South Alabama is even more fortunate."
Following the signing, Brooks personally thanked everyone for their support and especially his teammates.
"I'm fortunate to have every one of you here on my side," Brooks said. "There are times when you doubt yourself but if it is sports or academics, pursue your dreams."
Last year Taylor averaged 24.9 points a game as Buffalo Island went 43-3 and captured the Class AA State Championship. He was named the AA state tournament's Most Valuable Player.
As of the signing, Taylor has scored 2,591 points in 120 games to average 21.5 points a game for his career. He was named to the all 3-AA North Conference and the All-NEA Invitational teams his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. He was an All-State selection his junior year.
Taylor had a career-high 55 point game last week against Maynard and has topped 50 points a game three times in his career. He has made more than 150 three-pointers since his sophomore season, including 81 last year. Already this season he is averaging 37.6 points a game shooting 91.8 percent from the free throw line. He is a 79.9 percent shooter from the line for his career.
Taylor's father, Bill Taylor, is the BIC coach. He said he is excited having his son sign to play Division I basketball.
This is the second year for a BIC Mustang to receive a Division I scholarship. Last year's senior Brandon Ballard is playing for Arkansas State University.
"Brandon is doing well at ASU," Taylor said.
Taylor said he would rather be playing a ballgame as public speaking.
"I've made my decision and we have a lot more to focus on this year," Taylor said. "The defense is tough out there every time."
Among family members present for the signing were his parents, Bill and Lynda Taylor, his sister, Rachel, his grandparents, Shirley and Bib Dickey, and his two uncles, Gaylon and Ronnie Taylor, and cousins.
Gaylon Taylor is the former basketball coach at BIC who led his team to back-to-back state championships in the early 1990's.
Taylor took time to sign tee shirts and talk to the elementary students attending the signing.