There are only a small percentage of Montclair State University students who play a sport, let alone two. For most student athletes, it is hard for them to balance their team practices and games with their personal lives and academic studies.
Montclair State sophomore Taylor Brown would tell you differently.
Brown, a business marketing major, currently plays both women’s basketball and softball for the Red Hawks. Even though it can be considered a lot for any student to play both sports while getting a college education, Brown still finds time to fit everything into her schedule.
When asked whether managing her time was problematic, Brown said she sees it more as an opportunity.
“I would definitely say yes, it is a tiny bit sometimes, but I really like being in season with both sports because it gives me a schedule,” Brown said. “I enjoy going to practice every day, and it allows me to look at my calendar and schedule to create time for schoolwork.”
Before she arrived at Montclair State, Brown grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut, located a little more than an hour off of Route 15 in New Jersey.
Brown shared some insight on growing up in her small suburban area.
“It’s a relatively small town with about 36,000 residents,” Brown said. “In Trumbull, there are a lot of places to eat, great malls, great movie theaters and lots of beautiful parks.”
Although she loves both sports, Brown would consider basketball as her favorite because she has played it longer.
“I definitely spend more time playing basketball just because I had such a gap from my senior year [of high school] to now where I haven’t been playing softball,” Brown said.
Brown was first encouraged by her older brother, Billy, to participate in sports. As a child, Brown spent time observing her big brother playing baseball and basketball. According to Brown, this helped her develop as an athlete and form a relationship with her oldest sibling.
“I kind of just follow in his footsteps,” Brown said. “He’s made me a better athlete, ever since I touched a ball. We kind of have fun playing a variety of sports, growing up in a very competitive environment.”
Brown considers herself to be someone who works hard and, like her schoolwork, she takes her pregame preparation seriously. This process includes listening to music, staying focused, eating healthy, getting ready to compete and talking to her teammates about ways to approach the basketball and softball games.
When it comes to her style of music to listen to before a game, Brown’s choice is rap and upbeat music.
“I definitely like Travis Scott and some other kinds of upbeat songs to get me excited,” Brown said. “Some of my favorite songs from him are ‘STARGAZING,’ ‘goosebumps’ and ‘BUTTERFLY EFFECT.’”
While being known for her competitive edge as a student athlete, Brown’s teammates and friends see the real her during practices and hangouts. To most who are close to Brown, she is known for her kind and warm personality.
Elena Radesich, a junior on her softball team, spoke on how great a friend Brown is.
“Taylor is such a sweetheart and one of the sweetest people I know. She sees the upside in everyone and everything,” Radesich said. “I would say that we are pretty close friends. There is no negative to Taylor, she is the sweetest person I know.”
Red Hawks freshman basketball guard Julia Sutton also gave her assessment of Brown.
“She cares about everyone and always wants to see you smile,” Sutton said. “Taylor will do anything for anyone and does it with care. If you ever met Taylor, you know exactly what type of person she is, and if you get a chance to be her friend, she’s one of a kind.”
Brown’s father, Bill Brown, believes his daughter is not only known for the characteristics Radesich described, but also as a competitor. He believes her being a competitor is one of the reasons why she loves sports.
The Browns are a big sports family, and it is a big aspect of what keeps them together.
“Her brothers play sports,” said her mother, Nancy Brown. “It’s all we know, really.”
As for hobbies, some of the things Brown enjoys are music and food. Two of Brown’s favorite places to eat are Panera Bread and Chipotle.
Other things Brown enjoys include watching Netflix, shooting hoops, sharing music with friends and going to concerts at The Wellmont Theater. Of the shows Brown has seen at the Wellmont, artists like Gucci Mane stick out to her.
After college, Brown wants to work in a big city while allowing herself to travel, market countless products and meet interesting people. In terms of the products Brown would be intrigued to sell, they would be sports-related.
“I remember one of my friends saying how much she likes sports marketing,” Brown said. “Along those lines, I think marketing some type of sports products, such as sneakers or any athletic brand, would be cool.”
Whether it’s on the court or in the infield, Brown puts everything she has into her game. Brown markets herself as a one-of-a-kind athlete on the campus of Montclair State.