Sports have always been popular, but when the great athletes are from your hometown, that makes celebrating and cheering for them that much sweeter. As we have approached the halfway point of the month of Black History Month, we take a look at three of Taylor’s finest, and most revered athletes that have left their competitive mark in history.
One of the fist names that comes to mind when you think of Taylor, TX is Bill Pickett. Throughout the town residents and businesses are proud to sit a spell and chat about “The Dusky Demon”. Willie M. "Bill" Pickett a cowboy, rodeo, Wild West show performer and actor. In 1989, Pickett was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Pickett invented bulldogging, the skill of grabbing cattle by the horns and wrestling them to the ground. He also thought that if a bulldog could do this feat, so could he. Pickett practiced his stunt by riding hard, springing from his horse, and wrestling the steer to the ground. Pickett's method for bulldogging was biting a cow on the lip and then falling backwards. Bill, we celebrate you.
Just this past Christmas Taylor lost its most recognized basketball legend KC Jones. Jones was a professional basketball player and coach. He is best known for his times with the Boston Celtics with whom he won 11 of his 12 NBA championships (eight as a player, one as an assistant coach, and two as a head coach). As a player, he is tied for third for most NBA championships in a career and is one of three NBA players with an 8–0 record in NBA Finals series. He is the only African American coach other than Bill Russell to have won multiple NBA championships. Jones was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989. KC, we celebrate you.
Fredrick Lee Kerley is Taylor’s most recent athletic superstar. He is an American track and field sprinter who specializes in the 400 meters for Nike. Kerley is the 2018 champion in the professional Diamond League circuit, and twice the American champion, having won in 2017 and in 2019. Kerley set his personal best time at the 2019 USA Championships, finishing in 43.64 seconds, making him the eighth fastest man in history over 400 m. Kerley attended Texas A&M and could be on his way to the recently postponed Olympic games. Fred, we celebrate you.