Although she was consistently one of Canyon girls basketball’s top shooters throughout this season, Talia Taufaasau insists that although it’s fun to score, it’s not her favorite part of basketball.
“I think I’ve always liked nice passes better than nice shots,” said Taufaasau. “Especially having people like Selasi (Mawugbe), Rachel (Bowers), Gabby (Sanchez) and our shooters Ellie (Villavicencio) and Brooke (Mitchell) to make those nice passes to.
“It made my job as a point guard much easier.”
After playing four years on varsity, Taufaasau’s team mentality has led her to be named this year’s Foothill League girls basketball player of the year.
She made varsity as a freshman and immediately filled the role of starting point guard. Aside from some time off for injury, she never left the spot and developed her confidence in the process.
“I just came out of my shell a little more,” Taufaasau said. “…Coming on a varsity team and starting as a freshman is something super intimidating and I know for me it took me a little while to feel comfortable and actually want the ball in my hands.”
Taufaasau averaged 14.6 points per game, 3.1 rebounds per game and 7.6 assists per game for the Cowboys, whose season ended in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals with a 67-57 loss to Bishop Alemany.
“Even though our season was cut a little shorter than we wanted to, I’ve never been more proud of any season we’ve had as a team,” said Taufaasau.
The senior plans on playing basketball in college, but is still in talks with a handful of schools.
In addition to basketball, Taufaasau plans to major in psychology and eventually become a forensic psychologist.
Although the next step in her hoops career has yet to be decided, she’s completely certain of one thing she wants in her next team.
“Especially after this year, the team unity that we had, I admire that about this team,” Taufaasau said. “So definitely I hope the school I go to has something like that … a close-knit family environment.”
Rachel Bowers, Sr., Canyon
Selasi Mawugbe, Sr., Canyon
Annie Christofferson, Sr., Hart
Libbie McMahan, So., Saugus
Chidinma Ikonte, Sr., Valencia
Chyanne Pagkalinawan, Sr., Valencia
Gabriela Sanchez, Sr., Canyon
Ellie Villavicencio, Jr., Canyon
Shyann Franklin, Jr., Golden Valley
Haylyn Nguyen, Sr., Hart
Monique Febles, So., Saugus
Tiana Beale, Sr., Valencia
Eleanor McQuillen., Jr. West Ranch
Brooke Mitchell, Jr., Canyon
Dyamond Lamparski, Sr., Golden Valley
Aly Kaneshiro, So., Hart
Vanessa Ogbu, So., Saugus
Mailey Ballard, Fr., Valencia
Abigail Ang., Fr., West Ranch