In the life of an AAU player, there is not much time for a break.
Moments after playing her final game at the Lady Fire Summer Jam in Schaumburg Saturday night, Trinity senior Taylor Nazon was on a charter bus for a 16-hour trip to North Carolina.
Nazon, a guard from Beverly, was headed to Charlotte with the X-citement AAU team to compete in the final tournament of the season, which ended Tuesday.
Nazon’s team was originally going to play in the U.S. Junior National’s Summer Finals at Waukegan Fieldhouse, but plans changed over the course of the one-month AAU season when college recruiters can personally watch future prospects. X-citement already played tournaments in Atlanta, Franklin, Tenn., Mason, Ohio, and Bloomingon, Ind. over the month of July.
Nazon played on X-citement’s top team with Lyons senior Ashanti Davis.
Davis has yet to make a commitment, but Nazon verbally committed in April to play the 2013-14 season for hometown Loyola.
“It’s a great fit for me,” said Nazon, who is considering a major in political science. “I didn’t want that opportunity to go away. (Committing) took the stress away.”
Nazon chose Loyola over Yale, Colgate, Northern Illinois, San Diego, Navy and Butler.
After the AAU season ends, Nazon can re-focus on a journalism internship started earlier in the summer through Columbia College in Chicago. Nazon was one of 18 chosen from among 107 students to participate in the internship. Nazon isn’t just writing stories, but learning broadcast and website techniques through the program, which also includes field trips to news gathering organizations.
Former Trinity star Monica Albano is entering her final season at Loyola after starting in 20 games last season. Albano, Trinity’s all-time leading scorer, will likely not get the opportunity to be a teammate with Nazon. Younger Chicago area players on Loyola’s roster include sophomore Katie Faught from Loyola Academy, freshman Erin Thomas from Richmond-Burton, sophomore Simone Law of Marian Catholic and freshman Taylor Johnson of Lincoln-Way East.
One of Nazon’s X-citement teammates, Tiana Karopulos of Andrew, also verbally committed to Loyola.
I looked at them and I liked what they were building over there,” Nazon said. “I have a chance to be part of something special.”
Nazon leads a talented group returning for Trinity despite the loss to graduation for DePaul freshman Megan Podkowa. There is a possibility that the Blazers could have three incoming freshmen on its varsity roster next season.
“It will be a lot different (than last year),” Nazon said. “We do not have much experience, but we have a lot of potential.”