Taylor brings pro basketball back to Anderson

Jan. 26—ANDERSON — Building off the success of the Legends League in June and July, Troy Taylor's vision of pro basketball in his hometown returns this weekend with the Winter League games.

"My goal was to bring something to the city," the 2009 Anderson graduate said. "These kids (in Anderson) now did not get to grow up with the Wigwam, so this is an opportunity for them to come out, see some high-level basketball and have a special memory."

A total of six teams will participate and will feature many of the same names and faces from the summer with a number of players having local connections.

Jay Mohr, Norman Anderson, Tremayne McPhaul, Tre Jackson, Kenya Wilkerson, Techaun Johnson, Jordan Worley, Tyler Smith-Johnson, Devonte Smith, Travis Gladney and Ryan Poole are players with Anderson ties who will participate.

Unlike the Legends League last summer, these teams were not predetermined groups. Rather, they were drafted by team captains Mohr, Anderson, Crishawn Hopkins, Franqlin Gatson, Tim Boyd and P.J. Boutte.

Alumni from a number of Indiana universities will also play, including players from IUPUI, Butler, IU-East, St. Francis and the University of Indianapolis as well as players with overseas professional experience.

Taylor, who played collegiately at Evansville, was selected by Mohr in the draft.

Mo's Eatz N Treatz will provide concessions, including tacos and Mexican corn while Kenny Lofton — aka DJ KLO — returns along with Philip Washington to provide music and entertainment.

Taylor is also requesting donations of canned goods on opening night, with proceeds designed to help The Gathering of Queens and the 765 Food Desert Project provide goods for the needy in the area.

"The players will bring canned goods as well," Taylor said. "This organization loves what they do and does great work for the community."

In addition to Eatz N Treatz and Queens, Lee's Famous Recipe, Jack's Donuts and Peck & Wood Insurance are among the local sponsors of the event. The participation of local businesses was a big part of Taylor's plans for the event.

Taylor will also be a VIP at the NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis in February. He hopes this networking opportunity can also benefit his hometown.

"If we stick together, we can build something special here," he said.

Like the Summer League, the games will be played at Liberty Christian's The Den on Hilcrest on Sundays over the next two months. Admission is $6, and doors open Sunday at 2 p.m. with games to be played at 3, 4 and 5 p.m.

More information and complete rosters can be found on the Winter League's Facebook page.

Contact Rob Hunt at

or 765-640-4886.