Burlington Central adds Montini transfer

  • Taylor Charles drives against Simeon's Khaniah Gardner for Montini in this year's Class 3A state semifinal in Normal. Charles, a sophomore, is transferring to Burlington Central.

      Taylor Charles drives against Simeon's Khaniah Gardner for Montini in this year's Class 3A state semifinal in Normal. Charles, a sophomore, is transferring to Burlington Central. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/23/2020 2:26 PM

Sophomore Taylor Charles, who helped the Montini girls basketball team take third this year in the Class 3A state tournament, is transferring to Burlington Central.

"I made this decision over the course of my two years at Montini," Charles said. "We recently moved out here and I love the community out here so I'm so excited to get to play for Burlington this next season."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Charles, a 6-foot-2 forward, is one of the top players in her class in the nation. She was voted AP Class 3A all-state honorable mention this season and made the Daily Herald's DuPage County All-Area team.

Charles averaged 9.5 points and 4.9 rebounds.

"I'll miss my teammates more than anything," Charles said of leaving Montini. "We got to travel to some amazing places to play. We got to go to Kentucky every year, this past year we got to go to Florida. We always play a game up in Wisconsin. Just those traveling memories and the time I'd spend with my teammates over the course of a season I am really going to miss it a lot."

Charles will join a Burlington Central team coming off a 29-5 season under first-year coach Collin Kalamatas, a runner-up finish in the Fox Valley Conference and a regional championship. She will team up with senior-to-be point guard Elana Wells, who averaged 17.2 points, 3 assists and 3 steals a game last year, and others including guards Avery Andersen and Rylie DuVal.

Charles said she got to know Wells over the past year and knows players in her class like DuVal, Lauren Knief and Becca Carani from playing with the Truth and at M14.

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Charles, whose father Kevin was a Division I track athlete and basketball player at Indiana State and mother Cheyne played volleyball in community college, currently plays for Midwest Elite in the AAU season. Her teammates include Kelby Bannerman from Hampshire.

Charles has college offers from Illinois, Purdue, DePaul, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois State, Virginia Tech and several Ivy League schools, though the COVID-19 pandemic is creating new challenges for recruiting.

"Over this quarantine we're supposed to be playing right now but it's (college recruiting) still going pretty good even with all this going on," Charles said. "A lot of coaches are not able to see us play right now so I'm not sure how that's going to go but just keeping every door open and welcoming everybody who just wants to talk."

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