It seems like McPherson High senior Taylor Robertson has been around forever.
From her dribbling exploits that made her a You Tube sensation as a neophyte to winning two national free throw shooting championships, before finally making her much-anticipated scholastic debut to earning Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior, Robertson has toured the country by being able to play basketball at a rarefied level.
She has been seen by the best of the best and her work ethic has paid off as she signed a letter of intent with Big 12 member Oklahoma University on Wednesday in a ceremony in the McPherson Little Theatre before family and friends.
"When I think about it, it's been quite a few years I've been playing," the 5-10 guard said. "But it also feels like it's gone by so fast that I'm now a senior in high school, but I'm just getting started, hopefully, on the journey."
Robertson, who already has qualified for the MHS Wall of Fame since she was All-State All-Class as a junior, averaged 23 points, 5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 steals last season in helping the Bullpups take second place in the Class 4A Division I State Tournament, where they finished second to Bishop Miege. In that championship game, Robertson scored 30 points and teammate Mandi Cooks — who is signing her national letter on Monday with the University of Texas-San Antonio — added 20, but it wasn’t quite enough.
Oklahoma has enjoyed big-time success under longtime coach Sherri Coale.
"I've liked Oklahoma for a long time, because my room is actually painted OU, crimson and cream," she said. "I really didn't talk to them until April of last year. She (Coale) is a great coach and a great person. She's really fun to be around. It just felt like home when I visited. I liked the coaches and players there and the history is great."
“I have been incredibly blessed to coach some great shooters in my time at Oklahoma: Erin Higgins, Whitney Hand, Aaryn Ellenberg to name a few,” Coale said in a post on the OU website. “Taylor Robertson is made in that mold. She is a true, old school gym rat — a kid who loves to play and has honed her game by spending hours and hours in the driveway imagining defenders and making game-winning shots. Her passion for basketball is unparalleled.”
Robertson chose OU over a cadre of schools as she's been recruited since she was in middle school. She's pleased the decision is out of the way so she can concentrate on her senior year as she wants the Bullpups to not only win the Mid America Classic for the first time in her career, but make another run at the state title.
"It's really a relief because I don't have to worry about it being a distraction," Robertson said. "Now I can just focus on this year. The goal is always a state championship, it's the main one, and the Mid America Classic since we haven’t won one in a while.”
She carried a 3.83 grade point average as a junior. She also is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and has served as a volunteer for Special Olympics and the annual McPherson Thanksgiving Dinner. She has helped with the youth girls basketball programs.
MHS coach Chris Strathman considers himself fortunate to be coaching a player of Robertson’s unquestionable talents.
“This a special day for her,” Strathman said. “She has a lot of team goals that she still hopes to accomplish, but one of her long-time individual goals was to get to play college basketball at the Division I level.”
And to sign with OU is special for her, Strathman said.
“To be able to sign with a Big 12 school with a very strong program makes it even more special,” Strathman said. “I think she will enjoy playing for coach (Sherri) Coale at OU and I am excited to see how she does at that level of women's basketball. Taylor has such a love for the game and has worked so hard at her game, I am just very proud of her for this accomplishment. She has earned everything and every honor that has come her way, there have been no shortcuts to her success. I think she is glad to have this signing before her senior season, so now she can focus her sole attention on her high school season which has the potential to be a very special one.”
Robertson plans on majoring in exercise science.
Here is a list of Robertson's accomplishments:
• Jr. Olympics Basketball Skills Competition Gold Medal 2008, 2009
• Jr NBA/WNBA Skills Challenge 3rd Place 2009
• iHoops Skills Challenge 2nd Place 2010
• Elks National Free Throw Contest Runner Up 2010
• Elks National Free Throw Contest Champion 2012 & 2013
• Elks Getty Powell Winner 2012 (top female free throw shooter in the country 25/25)
• Knights of Columbus International Champion 2011, 2013, 2014
• Mid-America Classic 3-Point Champion 2015, 2016, 2017
• Mid-America Classic All Tournament Team 2015, 2016, 2017
• All League 2015, 2016, 2017
• League MVP 2016, 2017
• KBCA D-1 First Team 2016, 2017
• Hutch News All-Area First Team 2016
• Wichita Eagle 4A D-1 First Team 2016, 2017
• Sports In Kansas D-1 First Team 2016, 2017
• Miss Basketball Showcase MVP 2016, 2017
• Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year 2017
• WIBW D-1 State Basketball All-Tournament Team 2017
• Wichita Eagle All-State All Class 2017
• Topeka Capital Journal All-State All-Class 2017
• Hutchinson News Area Player of the Year 2017
• USA Today American Family Insurance All USA-Kansas Basketball Team 2017
• Catchy Best Girls Basketball Player 2017
• Mel Hambelton Ford Preseason Basketball Female Athlete of the Year 2017