Former L.C. Bird standout and McDonald’s All-American, Taja Cole, had a lot on her mind the past couple of weeks when deciding where to continue her basketball career. After the decision making process, just one school was on her mind – the University of Georgia.
“I had a great bond with coach Joni [Taylor],” Cole said. “I liked how they didn’t roll out the red carpet on my visit, they just said, this is what life will be like.”
In addition to the family atmosphere at the school, Cole said that she liked the location and campus, located in Athens, due east from Atlanta.
Cole’s career at Louisville, the school she committed to out of high school was short, but showed her potential, starting six games as a true freshman and playing a valuable reserve role down the stretch. Her best individual performance came on November 29 against Dayton, where she scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists.
Now, she’ll sit a year due to NCAA rules before suiting up in Georgia red for the 2017-2018 season.
“I’m going to approach it in a positive way,” said Cole, who will still practice with her team and work to earn the starting point guard position when she’s eligible.
As a senior, Cole averaged 19 points, five rebounds and five assists per game as L.C. Bird finished the season with a school best finish- 5A state runner-ups. Cole put forth a legendary performance in the 5A region semi-finals against undefeated Highland Spring in which she dropped 38 points, grabbed eight rebounds and passed out three assists.
Georgia is an interesting team for Cole to attend, and depth such as this at the guard position could propel the Bulldogs into the discussion to make a deep NCAA tournament run. Taylor, entering her second year as head coach earned the Spalding Maggie Dixon NCAA Division I Rookie Coach of the Year award last season as Georgia finished 21-10, falling to Indiana in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
With a strong work-ethic, there’s no doubt we’ll see a stronger, better version of Cole take the floor in the 2017-18 season for the ‘Dawgs.