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SP’s Taylor signs with Rio Grande

SOUTH POINT — There’s a lot of change happening in Tinesha Taylor’s life.

Not only is she going from high school to college, the former South Point Lady Pointers’ All-Ohio center will be shifting to a new position.

Taylor signed a letter-of-intent to play for the University of Rio Grande RedStorm, and with it she signed on to play on the outside.

“It’ll be tough, but I’ll get it. I’m doing a lot of ball-handling and (outside) shooting and I’m getting used to it,” said Taylor. “I’m comfortable with my shot. I’d rather be inside.”

After averaging double figures in scoring and rebounding during her high school career, Taylor will have to make a lot of adjustments.

Because of the changes to college life and a new position, RedStorm head coach Dave Smalley plans to red-shirt Taylor during her first season.

“We see it as a positive,” Smalley said of red-shirting Taylor. “It gives her a chance to learn our system and a new position and to get used to college life. It’s a win-win situation.”

Smalley said Taylor brings a lot of positives to the program.

“I like her focus. I like her demeanor. I’m really excited to have her. She’s our diamond in the rough. I like her athleticism and the fact that she’s long,” Smalley said of the 5-foot-9 Taylor.

“She can go to her left so well. If we can get her to go to the right as well with the way she can slash, she’s going to be a really nice player. Her future is extremely bright. She just needs to get confidence in her perimeter shooter.”

No one knows Taylor’s abilities better than Lady Pointers’ head coach Dave Adams. He doesn’t see any problem with Taylor playing other positions besides the pivot.

“Tinesha’s an athlete. She can run and she’s always been strong. She threw the shot put and ran the 400. That’s rare,” said Adams.

“She’s not accustomed to playing outside, but the has the athletic ability to play there.”

Although Taylor entertained ideas of playing at Shawnee State, she changed her mind after talking to other friends who were attending Rio Grande including another recruit, Ironton’s Janie Morris.

“Janie and I are friends and we said we were going to college together since we were freshmen,” said Taylor.

While Taylor has the confidence to play at the next level, she knows it will be more demanding.

“It’ll be a lot of work. A lot of work. (Coach Smalley) wants me to get a lot stronger. I can do it,” said Taylor who comes from an athletic family.

Her mother — the former Jeanetta Vinson — was the starting center when Ironton went to the Final Four in 1981. Her father Jerry was a running back at Ironton, her sister Roshee started for the Lady Pointers, and her brother Jeremiah is a red-shirt offensive lineman for the Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

Taylor plans to major in physical therapy.