Burlington Central's Charles picks Princeton
After Taylor Charles recently visited Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., it didn't take the Burlington Central senior long to decide it was the college for her.
Charles, a 6-foot-2 forward who played her first two seasons at Montini before transferring to the Rockets, committed to the Ivy League school earlier this week.
"It was a really hard decision," Charles said. "I had a lot of really good schools to pick from. But when it came down to it I visited Princeton and fell in love with it when I was there."
Those other schools in the final four were Michigan, Virginia Tech and Colorado.
Charles, also an excellent student who plans to be a premed major, spent a day touring the Princeton campus and basketball facilities.
"It was really beautiful," Charles said. "I feel like I hear about it in movies and all that type of different stuff so to be able to go there is so exciting.
"The school itself is absolutely gorgeous. There's so much history in all the buildings. The architecture is jaw-dropping. The basketball team, I love the girls, I love the coaching staff. They are younger, they are fun. I met another recruit from my class and we hit it off. To be with friends with somebody already, I loved the vibe with the team. I thought this place was just perfect. The education speaks for itself."
Charles averaged 10.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in her first season at Burlington Central this year, helping the Rockets win the Fox Valley Conference championship.
As a sophomore, Charles averaged 9.5 points and 4.9 rebounds on a Montini team that finished third in the Class 3A state tournament.
She sees herself playing a similar stretch four position in college that she did in high school and now in AAU basketball.
"The coaches said I should have an impact the second I get there which of course is very appealing," Charles said. "I don't want to be stuck (playing) inside. I like to play on the outside. Hopefully come in as a freshman and do whatever I can, do what I do now but in college."
Charles -- whose father Kevin was a Division I track athlete and basketball player at Indiana State, and mother Cheyne played volleyball in community college -- said she wants to continue working on her midrange game before she gets to Princeton.
"From when I first played AAU with the Truth and fell in love with basketball, it became my dream to play college basketball," Charles said. "To be able to fulfill it is really, really exciting. All the schools that reach out to you, it feels like your hard work pays off. It feels like you have been working and people are noticing. Seeing all the different campuses is amazing and meeting different coaches is nice, but when it comes down to the end and narrows it down to just one is pretty stressful. I feel better now that I've decided."
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