Sunday, February 12, 2017

Q&A: Ex-NSU star D'Shon Taylor on his stint playing basketball in Iraq

NORFOLK, Virginia -- It’s not unusual for accomplished MEAC basketball players to continue their careers overseas. Only a precious few advance to the NBA, so the rest of the players disperse to places like Italy, Israel, Greece, Lithuania and Spain. They make a decent living while seeing the world and trying to get the attention of an NBA team.

But D’Shon Taylor, a 6-foot-5 guard who averaged 13.3 points per game last season as a senior at Norfolk State, took a different path. As he played on the Bahamas National Team last summer, he discovered that a teammate had played two seasons in, of all places, Iraq. The teammate convinced Taylor to give it a try, and he averaged 23 points per game in one tournament and 19 in another before being released by Al-Mina, which played its home games in Basra, on Jan. 11.

As he played well over a four-month period, Taylor rejected offers from other overseas teams. He’s now staying in Norfolk as he works out and awaits his next opportunity.

As he sat for a Q&A after practicing with some of his former teammates recently at Echols Hall, Taylor discussed in his slight Bahamian accent his experience, two brushes with terrorism and what he learned about the world.


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